Ian Holloway has predicted that this weekend’s visit to Hillsborough to face Sheffield Wednesday will be a difficult test for Leeds United.
The Whites travel to Sheffield for the early kick-off on Saturday, knowing that a win would see them move to the top of the Championship–if just for a few hours.
However, after drawing against Preston North End on Tuesday, Leeds are just one point ahead of Wednesday, which means Garry Monk’s side would move above them with a win.
What will the result be at Hillsborough on Saturday?
Monk has made a fantastic start as boss of the Owls, taking 14 points from his first seven games and leading his side to third in the Championship.
He now awaits the arrival of his former side, knowing that a victory could see them a the top of the Championship at the end of the weekend–should league leaders West Bromwich Albion lose to Charlton Athletic.
Writing in his column for the Mirror, Holloway earmarked Leeds for automatic promotion this season but made a slightly concerning prediction about Saturday’s game.
He said: “Leeds are improving week in, week out and I think they will be one of the two that go up automatically because Bielsa is superb.
“But they won’t have it easy at Hillsborough on Saturday.
“Sheffield Wednesday is a fantastic opportunity for Garry Monk at a wonderful football club. His style suits them, going back to how Carlos Carvalhal played.
“You look at your closest neighbours and you need rivalry, but you need to be doing well when they are. Otherwise your fans aren’t very happy.
“Wednesday actually started this by having a resurgence and reaching the playoffs a couple of times while Chris Wilder went to Sheffield United and got them promoted once then did it again.
“United went from being miles away from them to overtaking them, and Wednesday won’t like that. But that’s life and they have to deal with it–and Garry has made a tremendous start.”
Leeds had the better of the Owls last season, beating them at Elland Road and securing a 1-1 draw at Hillsborough.
It’s difficult to argue with Holloway on this one, Wednesday have been in fantastic form since Monk took over in September, while Leeds have not been fully convincing in recent weeks.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side have won just twice in their last six matches and have not managed more than one goal in any of those games.
They have regularly struggled to break down teams that have sat back against them, so it is going to be interesting to see whether Monk opts for that tactic or looks to go toe-to-toe with the Whites.