Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday vs Sheffield United

, KO: 19:45 Mar 4, 2019, Hillsborough
Sheffield United

THIS is one of the most eagerly anticipated Steel City derbies in years, with both clubs harbouring ambitions of promotion to the Premiership.

That Wednesday head into the game dreaming of a top-flight return is solely down to the remarkable work done by new boss Steve Bruce.

The Owls sat 16th in the table when it was announced that Bruce would take charge, with the club having binned Jos Luhukay after less than a year in charge.

Since Bruce officially took charge at the start of February, Sheffield Wednesday have gone six games unbeaten, winning three times. That has the fans dreaming of a play-off push and Bruce insists that's the target as he bids to build on his stunning start.

Another win here would leave the Owls just four points off a play-off place so the stakes couldn't be higher, especially with Sheffield United looking to nail down an automatic promotion slot.

The Blades seem to have secured a play-off place at least, sitting 10 points clear of sixth-placed Bristol City, but they will be desperate to finish in the top two.

With Leeds and Norwich both winning at the weekend, they need a derby win to stay in touch at the top.

Victory would move United level on points with Marcelo Bielsa's side so they won't be happy to shut up shop and play for a draw.

Bruce's presence in the dugout offers extra spice to the fixture as he was once in charge at Brammall Lane, albeit only for one season. He didn't get to sample a derby during that spell but the veteran is used to white-hot atmospheres, having played in the Manchester derby and managed on both sides of the Birmingham divide.

Sheffield United thumped Bruce's Aston Villa side 4-1 earlier in the season so Chris Wilder knows what it takes to outwit his dugout rival. His side's form is even better than Wednesday's heading to Hillsborough, having won four in an unbeaten six-game run.

But Bruce's boys have some real momentum behind them so I can't see them losing here, with a draw the most likely outcome even though it suits neither side. A stalemate pays a decent 5-2 with Bet 365.

It was 0-0 when the rivals faced up to each other earlier in the season and in the final derby of last term but I can see there being a couple of goals in this one so try a speculative punt on a 1-1 scoreline at 6-1 with Bet Victor.

Both managers should be able to name their strongest sides, although Bruce has injury doubts over defenders Morgan Fox and Jordan Thorniley while Newcastle loanee Achraf Lazaar is ruled out.

United should have defender Jack O'Connell back after a hamstring injury while John Egan and George Baldock should also be fit enough to start.

Steven Fletcher has been in fine form for Wednesday since emerging as an unlikely Scotland hero in their successful Nations Cup campaign. He boasts three goals in his last two games and the striker looks great value at 5/2 in the anytime scorer market.

United star Billy Sharp is due a goal in the derby, having failed to find the net in five league games against Wednesday. The prolific hitman is 6/4 with Paddy Power to net at any time and 9/2 with Bet 365 to break the deadlock.

Under 2.5 goals looks a pretty safe bet at 13/15 with 188 Bet, given the last two derbies have failed to produce a single goal. This one could get a bit fiery and there are some interesting specials on offer. It's a bit of a long shot but the whopping 45/1 on offer from Betfair and Paddy Power on both teams getting a red card must surely be worth a speculative quid or two.

This match between Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United will be played on Mar 4, 2019 and kick off at 19:45

Sheffield Wednesday vs Sheffield United Betting Tips & Predictions
Draw
5/2
Bet365
Under 2.5 goals
13/15
188Bet
Red card for both teams
45/1
PaddyPower

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