Sheffield Wednesday: Everything you need to know about this weekend's opponents Leeds United

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Without a league win in five matches Sheffield Wednesday have been pulled to within eight points of the drop zone.

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Paul Heckingbottom

Paul Heckingbottom

What better way to alleviate any fears than a win at Yorkshire rivals Leeds United, who themselves are in a rut.

Here is the full run-down on Leeds:


Paul Heckingbottom was part of the Wednesday team which won promotion to the second tier in 2005 with an extra-time win over Hartlepool United. He played more than 40 times for the Owls before moving to Barnsley. It was in South Yorkshire where he took his first steps in management.

He had two spells as caretaker before being appointed permanent manager. It was in his second caretaker spell, when he took over from Lee Johnson in February 2016, where he led Barnsley to the Football League Trophy then to play-off success and promotion to the Championship. A ninth place finish the following season so him strengthen his case as one of the best young British managers and the Star's sister title The Yorkshire Post award him with the Sports Hero of the Year award.

He became Leeds' 12th manager since January 2008 in February this year.

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One to watch

During the club's most recent fixture, a 2-2 draw with Reading, Pablo Hernandez exited the field to chants of "sign him up" from the travelling Leeds fans. The Spaniard has delivered performances of late that suggest it is a no-brainer for the club to tie him up on a new deal, even if he turns 33 next month.

No player in the league has made more through passes, while he is high in the charts for assists and chances created. His inventiveness and ability in tight areas are something in which the Owls midfield and defence need to be wary of.

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Despite a change in manager Leeds have largely played 4-2-3-1. In the aforementioned Hernandez and fellow Spaniard Samuel Saiz they have two of the most creative midfielders in the league. Understandably scoring goals isn't a big issue, conceding is. No team in the top 14 have conceded more.

Injury table

United are missing six players with Liam Cooper, Kemar Roofe and Andy Lonergan all expected to sit out Saturday's fixture. They have joined long-term absentees Luke Ayling, Tyler Roberts and Conor Shaughnessy on the sidelines.

Previous meeting

The Owls delivered one of their most complete performances of the season at the start of October to sweep Leeds aside 3-0. A first-half double from Gary Hooper put Carlos Carvalhal's men on easy street before Kieran Lee tied the game up in the final 10 minutes. However the game didn't quite become the catalyst to kick-start the season as many hoped.


Promotion was the aim for Leeds after narrowly missing out on the play-offs last season. However the team have fallen away in the last three months, winning only one of their last 13 league games, as well as dropping out of the FA Cup to Newport County.


A key reason as to why Leeds have conceded so many goals is due to their slackness in possession. Only Burton Albion and Nottingham Forest have lost the ball more than Leeds' 2,326 ball losses.

What the manager is saying

“From my point of view, when I look at the players on the pitch, errors have cost us more. But I look at the Middlesbrough game and I thought we were outfought," said Heckingbottom.

"If we have to overachieve and compete against people with more financial might than us, one of the things we’ve got to have is a winning mentality. That’s not just the players. Everyone has to step up to the plate and be better.”


Leeds 19/20, draw 5/2, Sheffield Wednesday 14/5 (Bet365)