MX23RW : Sunday, September 26 18:36:31| >> :120:37236:37236:
Apr 25, 2015 at 12.30pm UK at Hillsborough
Sheff WedsSheffield Wednesday
1-2
LeedsLeeds United
Maguire (36' pen.)
FT(HT: 1-0)
Taylor (57'), Morison (72')

Preview: Sheffield Wednesday vs. Leeds United

Sports Mole previews the Yorkshire derby between Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United.

Sheffield Wednesday will look to take local bragging rights and move closer to achieving a top-half finish when they host Leeds United in the Championship this Saturday.

However, their Yorkshire rivals will be seeking to put a five-game losing streak, and their well-documented off-field dramas, behind them when they make the short trip down to Hillsborough.



Sheffield Wednesday

Stuart Gray, the Sheffield Wednesday manager, looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough Stadium on August 30, 2014© Getty Images

While Sheffield Wednesday don't have a playoff place to play for or any relegation battles to worry about, the next few months could prove to be interesting for Owls fans.

Since Milan Mandaric sold the club to Thai businessman Dejphon Chansiri in January the new owner has set a target of getting the team into the Premier League by 2017, the year which marks Wednesday's 150th anniversary.

Chansiri has also made changes in the boardroom, with ex-Hull City and Derby County chairman Adam Pearson drafted in alongside advisor Glenn Roeder, to form a three-man sporting director committee with manager Stuart Gray.

Gray has already targeted a summer of spending to kick-start Wednesday's push for promotion to the top flight, and that could mean many of his current squad are playing for their futures at Hillsborough.

If that is the case then the Owls have responded with a recent good run of results, having lost only one of their six outings in the Championship, including a victory at home to playoff-chasing Brentford.

Last time out, Wednesday needed a stoppage-time penalty from Chris Maguire to rescue a point away to Bournemouth. However, Gray's side can take heart from their performance against the Cherries.

Recent form: WDLDWD



Leeds United

Leeds caretaker manager Neil Redfearn shouts instructions during the npower Championship match between Charlton Athletic and Leeds United at the Valley on April 06, 2013© Getty Images

Leeds fans may be hoping that the end of the season comes sooner as the club lurches from one drama to another, with the latest being the tale of the 'Sicknote Six'.

With owner Massimo Cellino disqualified by the Football League and banned from Elland Road until the end of the season, perhaps Whites supporters would be forgiven for thinking that the club might start edging back towards normality.

However, manager Neil Redfearn has since lost his assistant Steve Thompson without much explanation from the Leeds hierarchy and last week saw six players withdraw from the squad for the 2-1 defeat at Charlton Athletic through injury.

The United boss, who has said that he will seek reassurances from the boardroom before making any decision on his future, cited a "freakish" series of events that led to glut of absentees against the Addicks, but there is no denying that the events at Elland Road may have had an effect on the Whites' form of late.

While Leeds are in no danger of relegation, they have embarked on a run of five consecutive defeats and are 16th in the table, with no hope of achieving even a top-half finish.

Recent form: DLLLLL



Team News

Leeds United's English defender Aidy White vies with Manchester City's Sergio Aguero during the fifth round English FA Cup football match on February 17, 2013© Getty Images

It remains to be seen how many of the 'Sicknote Six' make a return to the fold for the trip to Sheffield, and Redfearn may opt to retain Stuart Taylor in goal, in place of Marco Silvestri.

Edgar Cani has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, while Giuseppe Bellusci (foot) is unlikely to feature in either of the final two games.

However, Leeds winger Aidy White may make his return to the fold after 12 months out with a knee injury.

Maguire could retain his place in the starting lineup for Wednesday following his late equaliser at Dean Court.

Gray's big decision will be whether to recall Lewis McGugan, who has been sidelined with a virus, while Stevie May could be an option up front after dropping to the bench against Bournemouth.


Sheffield Wednesday possible starting lineup:
Kirkland, Buxton, Lees, Zayatte, Helan, Melo, Hutchinson, Lee, Isgrove, Maguire, Lavery

Leeds United possible starting lineup:
S Taylor, Wootton, Bamba, Cooper, C Taylor, Byram, Murphy, Austin, Mowatt, Sharp, Morison



Head To Head

Leeds fans may get shivers about returning to the Steel City this time around, having seen their side lose 6-0 at Hillsborough last term.

However, that demolition of the Whites was Wednesday's only win over their Yorkshire rivals since they earned promotion back to the Championship in 2012.

Both sides have drawn three of the last five meetings, with United's only victory over the Owls coming two seasons ago at Elland Road.

Indeed, Leeds haven't won at Hillsborough since a David Healy penalty steered them to a 1-0 win back in August 2006.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Leeds United

Leeds's poor run of form, combined with Wednesday's relative upturn in recent weeks suggests that this Yorkshire derby is likely to go the home side's way. While we're not expecting the carnage of last season's fixture, we could yet be proved wrong.



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Massimo Cellino President and Director of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Fulham at Elland Road on December 13, 2014
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Cellino: 'I had nothing to do with player absences'
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