What should we expect from Sheffield United?

Leeds take on high flying Sheffield United on Friday for the first time since March 2011. The Blades ran out 2-0 winners that day thanks to an own goal from Eric Lichaj and a goal from Bjorn Helge Riise.

The last time the two sides met at Elland Road Leeds were victorious thanks to a late goal from Bradley Johnson.

The visitors could be seen as the Championship’s surprise package so far this season as they sit third in the league.

Die hard Blades fan and Sheffield Mercury columnist, Andrew Smith gives us the lowdown on our Yorkshire opponents.

How should we expect the visitors to play?

I expect Chris Wilder to stick with the 3-5-2 system he has used to great effect so far during his tenure. United like to play good football but are not afraid to use Leon Clarke as a target man. John Fleck and Mark Duffy are the two midfielders who are likely to create chances for Clarke and Billy Sharp.

Who are the Blades’ key players?

Paul Coutts

The Scotsmen has been a revelation under Chris Wilder’s leadership. Coutts was woeful under Nigel Clough and Nigel Adkins and most Blades fans would have payed for his taxi to Sheffield station before Wilder arrived. He does the simple things so well, expect him to collect to ball off the back three before springing an attack.

David Brooks

During the summer, Brooks was our little secret, his brilliance not quite realised by the wider media. Four months later and the headlines linking him with a £10 million pound move to Liverpool make a lot of sense. The 20-year-old has been shredding Championship defences to pieces, he’ll likely appear from the bench to test tiring defenders.

Billy Sharp

Sharp is scoring on Friday, and I think plenty of Leeds fans know it. Sharp has captained United excellently and scored goals for fun in League One last season. There was a doubt to whether he could produce in the Championship, but the striker already has five league goals. You’ll think he’s having a quiet game and before long he’s running away celebrating.

What are the potential weaknesses in Chris Wilder’s side?

Genuinely a tough question considering we haven’t lost many games in the last 18 months. Leeds might find some joy if our wing-backs, who are likely to be George Baldock and Enda Stevens, are left out of position following an attack. Cameron Carter-Vickers sits at the heart of our back three but is only 19, his inexperience could show.

Finally, what’s your prediction for the match?

Leeds United 1-2 Sheffield United. The belief is so strong throughout the whole club, promotion is on the cards and another victory here will do nicely.