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Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Sheffield Wednesday's revamped defence can get a positive result

Depleted attack could hurt Leeds

Lucas Joao of Sheffield Wednesday celebrates with his teammates
1 of 1

Sky Bet Championship
Sky Sports Football & Main Event, 7.45pm Friday
Four points separate the top-half teams in the Sky Bet Championship and the division is about to get tighter with tenth-placed Sheffield Wednesday in with a good chance of beating leaders Leeds at Hillsborough.

Wednesday go into the game with plenty of confidence after winning 2-1 at Aston Villa last Saturday.

Owls boss Jos Luhukay switched to a back three at Villa Park and it worked a treat as Wednesday chalked up a deserved three points.

A new-look Wednesday defence - bolstered by the introduction of Chelsea loanee Michael Hector – did well to contain Villa's highly rated front two of Jonathan Kodjia and Tammy Abraham.

And they should cope against Leeds, whose attacking options are reduced by the absences of Kemar Roofe, Patrick Bamford and Pablo Hernandez.

Roofe, the Championship player of the month for August after coming up with four goals and two assists, has missed the last three league games and his 20-year-old replacement Tyler Roberts is struggling to fill the void.

Roberts has technical ability but doesn't have the pace to run away from defenders or the strength to dominate them.

Leeds lacked a cutting edge when losing 2-1 at home to Birmingham last Saturday and inexperienced keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell had an off-day, failing to deal with two speculative Che Adams efforts.

Marcelo Bielsa's side won the shot count 17-4 but were poor in both boxes and if they fail to do the basics right they will risk another poor result.

Wednesday cannot match Leeds' quality in midfield but they look dangerous in attack with Steven Fletcher (two goals in two) and Marco Matias (two in three) gaining confidence.

The Owls have collected 13 points from the last six games and their recent surge makes them good value at odds-against with the draw no bet.

Sheffield Wednesday draw no bet
1pt 11-8 Betfred

Team news
Sheffield Wednesday
Fernando Forestieri is available after a three-game ban and Jordan Thorniley (calf) also returns to the squad.

Kemar Roofe (calf) isn't quite ready to return and Gaetano Berardi, Patrick Bamford, Izzy Brown (all knee) and Pablo Hernandez (hamstring) are sidelined.

Key stat
Sheffield Wednesday are unbeaten in their last six home fixtures.

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Sheffield Wednesday are unbeaten in their last six home fixtures
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