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Free betting tips: Sky Bet Championship - Leeds United v Sheffield Wednesday

Our best bets for Leeds v Sheffield Wednesday
Our best bets for Leeds v Sheffield Wednesday

It's a huge game at Elland Road in Saturday's late kick-off where Leeds welcome Sheffield Wednesday. Tom Carnduff looks at the betting.


Recommended bets

1pt Pablo Hernandez to score anytime at 12/5

For advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


Leeds v Sheffield Wednesday (Elland Road, 1730 BST, Sky Sports Football)

Tense. That's the best way to describe the situation heading into this game.

Leeds are firmly in the race for automatic promotion. Going into the weekend, Marcelo Bielsa's men sit in second, a point ahead of Sheffield United.

The Blades are in action at 3pm too. They take on Millwall at Bramall Lane, a game they will expect to win given the fact that they have home advantage against a relegation candidate.

Leeds knowing the situation before they play is an advantage or disadvantage, depending how you look at it, but if I was a player I'd like to know how my team are guaranteed to go four points ahead with a win.

The problem for Leeds is that they have had the opportunity to move ahead of their rivals on more than one occasion this season.

Celebrations for Sheff United after Chris Basham's goal at Leeds
Celebrations for Sheff United after Chris Basham's goal at Leeds

Norwich came to Elland Road and won, when Leeds could have extended their lead at the top, while Sheffield United also secured maximum points to stop the Whites going five points clear.

When you reflect on Leeds' season as a whole, they will likely be annoyed that they are in a promotion scrap given some of those missed chances already.

Defeats to QPR and Birmingham in recent outings have seen poor Leeds performances, almost like they are their own enemy at times. Maximum points in those games would have seen Bielsa's boys go seven points clear in the automatic spots, but hindsight in a wonderful thing.

They can only focus on the present and the future now and they are lucky, in a way, that they still have these opportunities. The Blades have failed to act upon their win at Elland Road, with just one win in their last three.

It is now back in Leeds' hands though. Five wins and they will be a Premier League side - that's probably a line that will terrify their supporters - but it's true.

Luke Ayling celebrates scoring against Millwall
Luke Ayling celebrates scoring against Millwall

It shouldn't be as comfortable of a game for the hosts as their 8/15 price suggests. In Wednesday, they take on a team who are unbeaten in their last six away, four of which have been draws.

Steve Bruce has not only steadied the ship, but he's drawing the best out of the current squad and that's why they are an outside shout for the play-offs.

It's a shame for the Owls that he wasn't introduced to the club earlier, especially with Jos Luhukay's relationship with fans. To make it clear, Bruce's reasons for the start time were perfectly understandable and I really couldn't see the issue when some areas of the media expressed some faux outrage.

If Leeds turn up and play as well as we know they can, they will win. Despite those losses to the two teams around them, convincing wins over West Brom and Derby in the second-half of the season shows how this group of players can thrive on the atmosphere created by their own fans.

Adam Reach celebrates after scoring against Leeds
Adam Reach celebrates after scoring against Leeds

I'd avoid the outright market though as Leeds do look too short for me. There's too many factors heading into this game to take the home side at 8/15.

Instead, I'm willing to back Pablo Hernandez to find the net anytime in this one at a great price of 12/5. The 34-year-old is (cliche alert) like a fine wine where he is seemingly getting better with age.

The attacking midfielder has had direct involvement in 23 goals in just 34 games. He's their standout star in a standout team and has been a key component of this Leeds side.

I'd even go as far as saying that he is Leeds' best player since their relegation from the Premier League in 2004. One of the biggest questions to come out of this season will be 'how did Hernandez not make the EFL Team of the Season?'

Pablo Hernandez: Leeds hero opens scoring against West Brom at Elland Road
Pablo Hernandez: Leeds hero opens scoring against West Brom at Elland Road

He overcame an injury scare to dictate things at Preston in midweek and he'll be looking to do the same here. Bielsa has already confirmed that it will be the same starting XI from their victory at Deepdale.

Hernandez is a joy to watch and should thrive upon the pressure surrounding a potential promotion. In front of the TV cameras, on the big stage, the Spaniard is likely to be the headline act again.

As said previously, the Leeds price might not be worth taking. Instead, the value is in the handicap markets and backing a narrow home victory.

13/5 is the best price available on the draw (Leeds -1), which looks a great price given the form of both teams. If Leeds are going to win, it's a real possibility that it is by a single goal margin.

Score prediction: Leeds 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday (Sky Bet odds: 11/2)

Best bet: Pablo Hernandez to score anytime at 12/5

Patrick Bamford celebrates his goal against Preston
Patrick Bamford celebrates his goal against Preston

Sky Bet - 'Yes or No'

Will Pontus Jansson make 3+ tackles?

Yes. Jansson is a real presence at the back and throws the tackles in in front of a big crowd. He's also won 80% of his attempted tackles this season.

Will there be 11+ match corners?

No. Just one of Leeds' last eleven matches at home have seen eleven or more corners, and that game was against Bolton where it was fairly one-sided, despite the score. You'd imagine this game will be one where we fall just short of the above target.

Will Sheffield Wednesday receive the most booking points?

Yes. The away team have received more booking points in three of Leeds' last four games at Elland Road. It would have been four from four, but Kiko Casilla received a late red card against Sheffield United.

Will Pablo Hernandez have a shot on target?

Yes. We've already discussed Hernandez's impact above and he is a player capable of striking from distance. There is also a likely chance that he will take free-kicks in dangerous positions.

Will there be over 2.5 goals in the match?

No. This is expected to be a close match and one where there is just the single goal. It doesn't strike you as a contest that will be a goalfest.

Will Leeds win the match?

Yes. It won't be as easy as their 8/15 price suggests, but promotion is in their hands and they won't want to hand Sheffield United second place as they have done on more than one occasion recently.

Sky Bet odds: 28/1

Steve Bruce won his first game in charge of Sheffield Wednesday
Sheffield Wednesday manager Steve Bruce

Opta facts

  • Leeds United haven’t lost consecutive home league matches against Sheffield Wednesday since January 1998, when the sides were both in the Premier League.
  • Sheffield Wednesday are unbeaten in three league matches against Leeds (W2 D1 L0), last enjoying a longer run in March 1995 (five unbeaten).
  • Patrick Bamford has scored seven league goals for Leeds United in 2019, more than any other player.
  • Sheffield Wednesday striker Gary Hooper has scored seven English league goals against Leeds in eight appearances – more than any against any other side.
  • Leeds have drawn fewer Championship matches than any other side this season (7), with just one of their last 26 league games ending as a draw (1-1 vs Middlesbrough in February).
  • This will be Steve Bruce’s eighth league managerial visit to Elland Road (W2 D1 L4 previously), facing a different Leeds manager each time (Venables, Reid, Carver, Warnock, Evans, Monk, Christiansen, Bielsa).

Odds correct at 1255 BST (11/04/19)

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