David Prutton: This Leeds trio and Sheffield Wednesday pair will thrive in derby showdown
By Alex Stevens
David Prutton has identified three Leeds players and two Sheffield Wednesday men who should thrive in Saturday’s derby showdown.
Pundit Prutton is convinced Pontus Jansson, Kyle Bartley and Liam Bridcutt from Garry Monk’s side and Tom Lees and Glenn Loovens from the visitors are the type of characters who will stand up to be counted in what will be a near sell-out and a cauldron atmosphere.
The Yorkshire rivals and promotion hopefuls go head to head at Elland Road for the lunchtime kick-off that pits the Championship’s fifth-placed team against the one in sixth.
Victory for one of the clubs could go a long way to securing a coveted play-off spot and a chance to press strongly for the holy grail of the Premier League.
Ex-midfielder Prutton, who spent three years at each of the two clubs during his playing days, understands the emotions and pressures involved in such a pivotal clash, which will be screened live on Sky Sports.
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“If you look at the players that are involved – the likes of Pontus Jansson, Kyle Bartley, Liam Bridcutt and then for Wednesday, Tom Lees if he’s fit, Glenn Loovens – they are the kind of players that have the ability to play in matches of this type of pressure and this type of calibre,” said Prutton in his Yorkshire Evening Post column.
“Fundamentally, they all know what to do with a football and how to play the formation that the manager sets out and the managers have to rely on their teams to be able to go out there and be composed, calm and make the right decisions more often than the opposition. It’s whoever manages their emotions, whoever gets the slight rub of the green.”
Leeds have won only one of their last four league encounters but bounced back from consecutive defeats to take four points out of a possible six last week.
Wednesday were flying high on a run of four successive victories until they suffered a shock midweek 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Brentford.