Pressure All on Sheffield United Ahead of Elland Road Clash With Leeds United – by Rob Atkinson


Brilliantly succinct: Sgt. Wilko’s call to arms in 1990

It’s a titanic head-to-head of the Yorkshire Uniteds at Elland Road on Saturday, just a half hour after High Noon. Some are building it up as a promotion decider, others are being more circumspect. I want us to win, and I think it’s the biggest game since that decisive match against Bristol Rovers almost nine years ago – but I believe all the pressure is on the Sheffield side this time around.

The fact is that, if Leeds United win, they’ll be five points clear of third with eight games to go, and that’s a significant gap. Even a draw would leave Sheffield United two points off second place. Only a win for the Blades will see them edge ahead of Leeds United, by just a solitary point. Both teams need the win, but for Sheffield United, beaten once by the Whites already this season, it’s vital.

Little more needs to be said. Leeds United and Sheffield United both know what they have to do, both will be wary of the hype – and both will carry the confidence of a good recent run into this Yorkshire summit meeting.

As United boss Howard Wilkinson said in brilliantly brief and succinct programme notes when these two teams met at Elland Road towards the end of both clubs’ 1990 promotion season: “What can I say about today’s game that has not already been said or appeared in print? Including this afternoon’s encounter, we have five matches to go in what can turn out to be Leeds United’s most important season for a decade. So let’s get on with it.

The rest is history. Leeds beat the Blades that long ago afternoon by 4-0, going on to clinch the divisional Championship. Both teams went up, but Sheffield United had not been able to withstand the pressure or Leeds United’s own mental readiness and competitive spirit on the day.

May it turn out the same this weekend.

14 responses to “Pressure All on Sheffield United Ahead of Elland Road Clash With Leeds United – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Rob, the best, the only, part of your piece I caught was Leeds U 4 – 0 Sheffield U. Let’s hold that thought and pray!


  2. Despite being a Leeds fan for many, many years I’ m not full of nerves about this one, it matters more to the Blunts than it does to us. We win and they’ll have to win two more games than us before the end of the season, we lose and we’re only a point behind 😁 nice song for tomorrow when we score first, Blades, Blades are falling apart …


  3. Reality Cheque

    Wilder has certainly been trying to take the pressure off of his players with flattery naming Leeds United as the best team in the Championship. Not quite mind games but he is clearly trying to label his team as the underdogs

    Its gonna be a nail biter Rob, but Bielsa seems to have got the lads over their Spygate inflicted “blip” with 3 successive wins and clean sheets including wins against 2 teams in the top six. That’s not shabby form at all and Bielsa has been able to field an unchanged line-up during this impressive upturn in form for the first time all season

    Whilst Norwich are winning for fun and have a much easier run in than us, the Blades have got a really tricky run in after playing us against the likes of Bristol City, Forest and Millwall at home and trips to Stoke, Birmingham and Preston. So if Leeds can get all 3 points tomorrow it will be difficult for them to claw back the gap.

    Glory is within touching distance and our fate is in our own hands Rob. When was the last time we were able to say that in mid March? ALAW


  4. James Rigby

    Its daft I know but I feel a bit like when I was a kid on Christmas eve – I’m that excited lol mot


  5. Darrell Burnett

    I remember us destroying the Blunts that day topped off by a scorcher from a youngster.
    We have the whole club pulling together similarly to that period.
    Jack Clarke to top it off today anyone…


  6. Life is LUFC

    I am telling myself Leeds can and will win…….however I have enough butterflies for the entire Elland Road ground population and more. I’m now going to find something to do to calm myself until full time, where did I put the Valium?


  7. howard mackey

    Though Howard Wilkinsons team talk was short and sweet, Bielsa will have his boys well and truly up for this one Rob. M.O.T.
    Regards H.


  8. Life is LUFC

    Damn!… I will resort to the Brandy and dream it was 1 nil to Leeds.


  9. No great harm done, let’s see how the blunts cope with being second now 😛😛😛


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