I’m sure that one day I’m going to write this column and both Sheffield teams will have lost and the mood will be much more somber.
However, at the moment, that just isn’t happening! Since last week, both United and Wednesday have progressed in the FA Cup and United dominated their opponents Yeovil Town on Tuesday to clinch yet another three points.
Wednesday were one of the ‘giant killers’ when they knocked out Championship contenders West Ham. A 1-0 victory, courtesy of goalkeeper Nicky Weaver’s superb display, including a penalty save, and an 88th-minute winner from Chris O’Grady, saw Megson celebrating a big result.
This win resulted in Wednesday getting a fourth round tie away to Ian Holloway’s Blackpool, another tricky Championship side, but on the form they are currently enjoying, would you bet against them to upset the odds again!?
United had somewhat of an easier encounter and unsurprisingly swept Salisbury away 3-1 at Bramall Lane. Goals from Porter, Evans (who else!?) and an OG saw the Blades rewarded with a fourth round game at home to the winner of the Birmingham v Wolves replay. Whichever team gets through will prove a much sterner test than non-league Salisbury.
Somewhat more impressive than their FA Cup win was United’s 4-0 demolition job over Yeovil. The Blades won, amazingly, without a goal from Evans, to close the gap on Charlton to four points at the top, and in the process leapfrog their city rivals (although the Owls do have a game inhand).
The result led boss Danny Wilson to say that United have “a good chance” of heading back to the Championship.
To try and capitalise on this run, on Saturday Wilson’s team take on Bury, who are 10th. We expect the game to be closer than Tuesday’s walk-over but still fancy United to win. In spite of being the away side, I have made them favourites at 23/20, with Bury just north of 2s (11/5).
Whatever the result in Wednesday’s game it will be sure to help United one way or another. Megson’s team host top of the table, Charlton Athletic, in what is set to be a mouth-watering clash. A win for Wednesday wouldn’t quite give them top spot but the momentum would certainly be with them and just two points off the league’s summit.
This game could go either way but being the home side and with their form, I make the Owls favourites. They are 13/10 to beat the Addicks, with Powell’s team at 15/8. The draw is a likely result at 23/10. Whatever happens, it’s going to be fantastic viewing for everyone up and down the country, as well as Sheffield!
The Premiership game of the weekend is Newcastle v QPR on Sunday lunchtime. Both side have been in the headlines all week, with Rangers’ new boss Mark Hughes making his bow at the Sports Direct Arena. I’ve made QPR 15/4 to win on Tyneside. Will Sparky have the same effect on his team that Martin O’Neill is enjoying at Sunderland? United are now depleated after losing Tiote and Ba to the African Cup of Nations and all eyes will be on them to see how they manage the losses. Regardless of these absences, I still have them at odds on, at 8/11, for the win.
All these odds and many more are available at my website, www.victorchandler.com