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Sheffield United v Sheffield Wednesday: Two surprising seasons

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Neither side are where they expected to be at the beginning of the season.

In some regards, it would make sense for the two sides to be the other way around, although that would still probably count as a disappointing season for Wednesday based on pre-season expectations; they were expecting to build on consecutive play-off appearances.

The first half of the season is where the biggest contrasts can be found because the Blades started the season strongly while the Owls faltered with a major injury crisis having a significant impact. However, the second half has helped bring them close together with United struggling and Wednesday eventually recovering under new manager Jos Luhukay with key players returning having a big part in that.

Looking at the statistics in the graphic shows the slim margins between them. United average slightly more goals and like to have more control over possession, but Wednesday are more accurate with their passing even though Luhukay likes his teams to absorb pressure in stages. Therefore, Wednesday have players who are more technically gifted, but Wilder has gotten more out of his team as a collective this season.

Wilder’s team are also adept at breaking up play as can be seen in the difference in disciplinary records. Finally, they have the same amount of losses, but United go for the jugular when they think they have an advantage which meas they have won more, whereas, Wednesday have settled for more draws.

The margins are slim between these two sides, so it’s likely to be close between them next season as they will both be aiming for the top six.

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