Sheffield Derby: Why Wednesday and United fans share the same prediction ahead of tonight’s match
They might have very different allegiances but fans on both sides of Sheffield's footballing divide have shared the same prediction for tonight’s Steel City derby.
The last two derbies have both finished 0-0 with little goalmouth action but with Wednesday unbeaten since January 12 and United chasing automatic promotion, fans are predicting goals.
Wednesday take on their cross-city rivals United in the 131st competitive Steel City Derby at Hillsborough under the lights tonight.
The Owls currently 14th in the Championship table, seven points away from a playoff sport, but United can move back into 2nd with a win.
James Marriott, of the Wednesday Week podcast, said: “It’s kind of nice going into a derby match without there really being pressure on us.
“I know some fans are harbouring those thoughts of a lot playoff push but if we put that to one side, the pressure is on United more than us.”
James, who will be taking up his seat in the North stand at tonight's game, said new boss Steve Bruce would bring big-match to the Owls’ dressing room.
He said he hoped the derby being played on a Monday night would not have an effect on the atmosphere.
James added: “You’d probably have to go back to the what we call the ‘Mind the Gap derby’ in 2012, which was the last significant game.
“But it does feel a bit different to the lcast couple at Bramall Lane, where it’s been a case of Wednesday parking the bus.”
James said he thought there would be goals in the game and praised the different style of pay Bruce has instilled.
He added: “Things have changed in the last few games. Bruce has come in with a different approach to the two previous managers and there is a feeling that it’s all a lot more table and that there is a long term vision with right guy at the helm.
Asked for a prediction, James said 1-1, adding: “United need the points for their promotion push and Wednesday need them to stop that.”
Lifelong Blade Trevor Payling said he was a ‘little bit apprehensive’ ahead of the game but said he was looking forward to it.
Trevor said: “I am hopeful that we will get a result. The form going into the game has been good and the away form has been good as well, the Villa game aside.
“There’s most certainly going to be goals. I don’t think we will be changing our style of play so that will lead to an open game.”
Trevor, chairman of Sheffield United Supporters’ Club, said he was ‘cautiously optimistic’ his team would gain promotion to the Premier League this time around.
He added: “From our point of view, three points keeps us in touch with those at the top but I don’t think it would be a disaster if we only got a point or even if we lost – other than for bragging rights.”
A limited number of tickets are still available for tonight’s game and the eyes of the country will be on the city, with the match moved to accommodate live TV coverage.
Trevor said: “I sincereley hope that everything goes off okay especially with it being on TV. For the sake of the city, I hope everyone behaves.”