It has been six and a half years since the two Yorkshire sides met which ended in a 2-0 win for the Blades at Bramall Lane. Today, the two meet after strong starts to this campaign with Sheffield United sat in 3rd place with Leeds just behind them in 4th. Both come in to this game on the back of good wins with the Blades winning 2-1 at home to Reading and Leeds winning 3-0 away to Bristol City whom had only been behind for 55 minutes of the season prior to the match. Here we are going to look at a combined XI for the two teams ahead of the huge Yorkshire derby this evening.
GK: Jamal Blackman (Sheffield United)
Since coming on loan from Chelsea, Jamal Blackman has established himself as first choice ‘keeper at Bramall Lane and has put in some impressive performances. Leeds have swapped between Felix Wiedweld and Andy Lonergan in recent weeks so Blackman is the obvious choice.
CB: Pontus Jansson (Leeds)
The towering Swede hasn’t hit the highest of form this season and even to his own admission on Instagram said: “I’ve been shit”. However Pontus Jansson on his day isstill one of the best centre-backs in the league and was recently rewarded with a new five-year contract after making last season’s EFL Team of the Year.
CB: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Sheffield United)
The Spurs loanee has impressed on his spell with the Blades this season and has been part of a very solid United defence. The 19 year-old will be in for his biggest test of his career as he comes up against Leeds United facing the challenge of keeping experienced German forward Pierre-Michel Lasogga out of the game.
CB: Chris Basham (Sheffield United)
The versatile defender can fill-in in many places for Sheffield United and manager Chris Wilder said having him is like “Gold dust”. He can be put in a more advanced role into midfield if needed and I believe he offers more than the other Leeds centre-halves.
Wing-back: Luke Ayling (Leeds)
Ayling is someone that this week former boss Lee Johnson at Bristol City said selling him was “A big mistake”. It isn’t hard to see why after a fantastic first season at Elland Road and a good start to this season as well with inspiring performances.
CM: Paul Coutts (Sheffield United)
The Scottish midfielder has found the form of his life at Sheffield United and has kicked off this campaign extremely well also and sent the Blades on their way with a terrific goal against Reading on Saturday.
CM: Kalvin Phillips (Leeds)
It has been an up and down breakthrough at Leeds for the 21 year-old midfielder but seems to have really matured this season chipping in with four goals as well. Phillips bossed the midfield in Leeds’ win over Bristol City Saturday and will be a real nuisance for Sheffield United.
Wing-back: Enda Stevens (Sheffield United)
Stevens’ impressive performances have led to Wilder’s side to be a lot more attacking minded, a trait he picked up back in Ireland when he played in the Europa League and came up against some of Europe’s top players.
Forward: Samuel Saiz (Leeds)
The former Atletico Madrid man has been a star player for Leeds this season scoring eight goals in the process including two at Ashton Gate Saturday. He is a player that can control any game and his performances are crucial to any success Leeds have.
Forward: Pierre-Michel Lasogga (Leeds)
Despite injuries and dips of form in recent years, there is no doubting the big German forward’s pedigree. He is a former German under-21 international and has been called up to the senior national side on several occasions. Lasogga has impressed at Elland Road this year also scoring 4 goals this season.
Forward: Billy Sharp (Sheffield United)
It will be an emotional return to Elland Road for Billy Sharp on the anniversary for the death of his son. The prolific striker has played the football of his life at Sheffield United and will be a real danger-man for Leeds to keep out of the game.