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2 key battles that will decide Sheffield Wednesday v Leeds

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Both Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United have made very good starts to the season.

Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds side currently sit second in the Championship table, two points behind leaders West Brom and just one ahead of their Yorkshire rivals who lie in third.

Garry Monk’s side have looked impressive since he took charge, and they’ll be confident heading into this one after beating Stoke City by a goal to nil in midweek.

However, with the table very bunched – 11th placed Charlton are just three points behind Leeds – so the pressure is on for both sides to continue picking up points.

With both teams undoubtedly looking for the win, and both seemingly very evenly matched, individual battles across the pitch will be crucial to the outcome of the game.

Here, we look at two in particular that will be key in deciding which Yorkshire side takes home the spoils.

Patrick Bamford v Julian Borner

Despite scoring no goals in his last eight games, Bielsa has confirmed that Bamford will keep his place in the side ahead of Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah.

This decision has gone against the wishes of most Leeds fans, who would much rather see Nketiah get his chance in the lone forward role.

When comparing the two strikers, he told the Yorkshire Evening Post, “Bamford ran for the needs of the team. Nketiah ran just to try and score.

“The metres that Bamford ran is true to the team. And to finish, Nketiah puts these meters in to finish the action.”

Ultimately, though, Bamford will need to find his scoring boots sooner rather later if Leeds are to remain in automatic promotion contention.

And the task doesn’t get any easier this week, coming up against colossal German centre-back Julian Borner.

The Germany U18 international has had a great start to his Wednesday career, already becoming a favourite with supporters due to his whole-hearted displays.

With Borner being very good in the air and definitely not one to shirk a tackle, Bamford will have his work cut out not only to get himself on the scoresheet, but also to hold up the ball and bring others into play.

If Borner can dominate Bamford and leave him feeding off scraps, Leeds could be in for a long afternoon.

Ben White v Steven Fletcher

Another centre-back who has won fans over quickly is Leeds’ Ben White.

Signed on a season-long loan deal from Brighton, White immediately put in a string of highly impressive performances, winning the Championship PFA Player of the Month for August.

The Poole-born defender possesses good technical ability, but is also a tough tackler and wears his heart on his sleeve.

On Saturday, he will have a tough task of dealing with The Owls’ Steven Fletcher, who has had a similarly impressive season. He has bagged five goals and an assist from 12 games, and led the line superbly, proving a big threat in the air.

White can expect a very physical battle with Fletcher, and how well he deals with this threat will be key to deciding where the points will be heading on Saturday afternoon.


ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 2 key battles that will decide Sheffield Wednesday v Leeds

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