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81.3% v 78.5% pass success: Leeds victory hinges on this man out-performing Sheff Utd general

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This weekend sees what is arguably the most important game in the Championship this season when Leeds United host Sheffield United.

Elland Road will be filled to capacity in what looks like it could be a shoot-out for second place with the winner taking a commanding position in the hunt for automatic promotion with what would be eight games remaining.

Both sides boast impressive teams and in-form individuals who have aided their respective climb to prominence in the table.

As ever with big games that have big players in all areas of the pitch – the midfield battle is the most intriguing.

For Leeds, Mateusz Klich has been a standout member of the squad this term after being shunned last term.

And for the Blades, John Fleck has been the lynchpin in their midfield throughout the campaign.

Klich has featured in every league match for Marcelo Bielsa this term and has proven to be a player he can rely on win, lose or draw.

For Chris Wilder, Fleck has missed just one game in the league – and you see that the one game difference has given Leeds the edge, sitting two points ahead of their opponents this weekend.

Having played fewer games, the Blades man has more minutes under his belt by 70, playing a total of 3165 compared to the Poland international’s 3095.

But playing more minutes has not made him more effective in going forward.

It is the Leeds man who is more impressive in front of goal by some margin too, scoring eight goals – six more than his Blades counterpart.

And that could have significant bearing tomorrow having scored in midweek, Klich gives more to his side going forward than what Fleck does.

Both have an eye for a pass, having created five goals apiece for their teammates this term.

Fleck trails his midfield counterpart in shots per game averaging 1.2 compared to Klich’s 1.7 – and that shows why the 28-year-old has more goals to his name.

Passing wise, it is the Leeds man who sees off competition from the Blades man in the middle – averaging more completed passes in 90 minutes by almost three per cent

More prolific in front of goal, testing the keeper with more shots and passing more accurate with 81.3 per cent of his passes finding their intended recipient compared to Fleck’s completion percentage of 78.5.

If Klich is able to play to his best, he should overshadow the 27-year-old in the middle of the visitor’s midfield tomorrow.

And if he can win that individual battle, it will go some way to winning the war between the two sides.

ScoopDragon Football News Network