The first Yorkshire derby of the season takes place on Saturday when Barnsley make the short trip down to Sheffield to take on Sheffield United. Both of these teams have picked up three points from their first three games and will want to improve their total early in the season. I expect to see both near the bottom of the table fighting against relegation so the games between them will turn out to be vital.
English Championship – Saturday 19th August – 11:15 UK Time
Best Odd of: 3/4 at Betway
Best Odd of: 14/5 at Betway
Best Odd of: 4 at Ladbrokes
After a poor opening day defeat, Barnsley are now two games unbeaten while Sheffield United have done the opposite, they won their opening game but haven’t won since. With plenty at stake both in the league and personal pride for the fans, this should be a well contested game with both teams up for the fight.
Sheffield United Form
An opening day victory over Brentford will have given Sheffield United hope but since then they have lost two games. The victory over Brentford wasn’t deserved on the face of it and Brentford will have been unhappy they didn’t make their chances pay in the game. Since then it has been tough for United.
A 1-0 defeat to Middlesbrough and a 2-0 defeat to Cardiff have stopped Sheffield United in their tracks but they should find this game much easier. They will want to land first bragging rights over their neighbours, although Barnsley too will be up for the game.
I am expecting to see Sheffield United finish in the bottom half of the table, although with a good run they could sneak a mid-table spot.
Barnsley were very poor on the opening day in a game that they lost 3-1 away to Bristol City. Since then they have been better, and were unlucky in their home loss to Ipswich. They played well that day and deserved something from the game, although it wasn’t to be for them. They made up for it on Tuesday night, picking up their first win of the season against Nottingham Forest and will be looking to build on that in this one.
I am expecting a hard season for Barnsley, they have lost a lot of players over the past 12 months and struggled to replace them. They don’t have the financial backing that other teams do in the Championship and that will always hold them back. However, they love being the underdog and love the challenge of survival, and against the big boys they will always have a chance.
Sheffield United have scored just one goal so far and that is something they must improve on. They rely on Billy Sharp for goals, and he scored their only goal of the season, but he has to start showing more if United are to find another win.
Barnsley picked up a valuable three points on Tuesday and they will be looking to build on that in this local derby. They play a good attacking brand of football and have many players who can score goals. Ryan Hedges has been in good form this season and he scored a great goal on Tuesday night, he will be looking to add to that tally and is sure to start after his good performance.
Top Betting Tips
Local derbies are often very tight affairs and this one looks set to be no different. While both Sheffield United and Barnsley will want to win the game, they will also not want to lose the game, especially Sheffield United in front of their home fans. That will ensure we have a tight, cagey game and I don’t see too many chances for either team.
I think Sheffield United are the slightly better team, but Barnsley arrive in better form making the two teams very even. That is leading me towards thinking that this game will finish as a draw. I am going to back the draw which is available to back at 14/5 with Stan James and SkyBet.
I don’t think we will see too many goals so on top of this I am also going to back under 1.5 goals in the game which is available at a tasty 3/1 with Coral and Stan James. This covers a 0-0 draw, or a 1-0 win for either team and I can’t see any more goals coming in the game.
Expect a tight affair at Bramall Lane, with few chances and a game between two teams that do not want to lose, despite how much they could really do with the three points.