Sheffield Wednesday v Sheffield United Betting: Owls to edge bitter rivals in goal-laden derby

Hillsborough will host the first Sheffield derby in more than five years when Sheffield Wednesday face Sheffield United on Sunday afternoon.

This fixture has always been fiercely competitive and bragging rights have been dished out in equal measure, for, remarkably, both sides have won 48 of the 140 matches contested between the teams, with the remaining 44 fixtures ending all square.

It is the Owls, though, who have had the upper hand in the last decade, with Sheffield United winning just one of the last eight contests between these bitter city rivals.

Sheffield United Brentford

The Blades, back in the Championship following their League One title triumph last term, have enjoyed a solid start to life in the second tier, having picked up 15 points from their first eight games – two more than Wednesday have collected so far this season.

Chris Wilder’s charges can be backed at 53/20 (3.65) with Betsafe to extend their advantage over Wednesday to five points with victory at Hillsborough, while the Owls are chalked up as a 53/50 (2.06) chance to leapfrog United in the Championship standings by beating the Blades; Betsafe go 49/20 (3.45) that honours remain even at the end of a hard-fought 90 minutes in the Steel City derby.

There have been goals scored at both ends in eight of Wednesday’s last nine matches in all competitions and Betsafe go 87/100 (1.87) that the trend continues in this clash, while the same firm go 113/100 (2.13) that there are more than two goals in the game – a selection that would have landed in both of Wednesday’s last two matches at Hillsborough.

Sheffield United Wednesday graphic

The Owls are undefeated on their own patch so far this season and Carlos Carvalhal’s men, who have reached the play-offs in both of the last two seasons, will have high hopes of making home advantage count against the Blades.

Sheffield United, however, will have few fears about crossing the city, for Wilder’s team have won their last two Championship tussles on their travels – against Sunderland and Bolton Wanderers respectively.

Both teams will be fired up for what promises to be a full-blooded derby and Wednesday are decent value at 53/50 (2.06) to claim bragging rights against the Blades; the Owls’ defensive deficiencies, however, are a cause for concern and better value may lie in backing Carvalhal’s side to win a match in which both teams are on target.

Betsafe’s generous 71/20 (4.55) quote, therefore, for Wednesday to win and both teams to score could offer good value for punters ahead of Sunday’s all-Sheffield showdown.

Both teams to score and Sheffield Wednesday to win at 71/20 (4.55) for a 1pt stake with Betsafe

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Spalletti promises reaction from smarting Inter against Genoa

Inter are eager to atone for a poor showing last time out as they prepare to host Genoa in Serie A, insists Luciano Spalletti.

The Nerazzurri dropped points for the first time this season in midweek after they needed a 77th-minute Mauro Icardi penalty to salvage a 1-1 draw at Bologna.

Inter 11/2 to beat Genoa 2-0

Spalletti told a pre-match news conference that his squad have already shown a reaction in training, with midfielder Joao Mario not believing he was worthy of sitting out a training match.

“The players were the first to be unhappy with the last result and there’s an automatic reaction and desire to give more,” Spalletti said.

“These are the players we have for this season, we don’t know what will happen after but I have faith in these players.

“Until the final day that I’m here, I will believe in them and I won’t change how I think because of one match or a statistic.

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“We perhaps need more creativity in the opponent’s half but we still did well in the second half at Bologna despite the sense of anxiety as we knew we had to save the result.

“After Bologna, we played a training match with some of those who have played less. Joao Mario wanted to be part of it the day after because he wasn’t happy with what he gave.”

Victory on Sunday would move Inter to within two points of Serie A pacesetters Napoli and Juventus, who preserved their 100 per cent records on Saturday.

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Mourinho pins blame on weather for Man Utd’s average display against Southampton

Jose Mourinho believes the south coast sunshine was to blame for Manchester United’s average display against Southampton on Saturday.

The Red Devils maintained their unbeaten start to the Premier League season with a 1-0 victory over Southampton in the 19°C heat at St. Mary’s.

West Brom 9/1 to beat Arsenal

Romelu Lukaku’s first-half effort was enough to earn all three points for United, who were on the back foot for large parts of the second period.

And Mourinho reckons his players were not at their sharpest because they are not used to playing in such warm conditions.

He said in his post-match press conference: “I think they were really tired at the end.

“Nine of them didn’t play in midweek, so nine of them it’s not even an accumulation of fatigue. I think the weather was beautiful.

“Even if you train at 11am, 12pm, 3pm in Manchester, we don’t get this weather. Seriously.

“The last time we had this was in Los Angeles [for pre-season] and then in Macedonia [for the Uefa Super Cup], and I think they felt it.

“I saw some players were not sharp. Great spirit and always trying, but not the same sharpness.

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“So if your opponent is coming with everything against you, let’s do it for 10 or 15 minutes and stay solid.”

United are currently joint-top of the table alongside rivals Manchester City, who have also picked up 16 points from their opening six fixtures.

Next up for Mourinho’s men is a trip to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday.

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‘The songs? I don’t understand them’ – Mourinho pleads ignorance on Lukaku chant

Jose Mourinho said he does not understand the lyrics of songs during matches after a recurrence of the controversial Romelu Lukaku chant in Manchester United’s win at Southampton.

A number of the visiting supporters reprised the song after the Belgium international scored what proved to be the only goal of the game after 20 minutes at St. Mary’s Stadium.

A chorus of, “We’re Man United, we’ll sing what we want” followed, in clear defiance of pleas from Lukaku and the club not to sing a song described by anti-discrimination group Kick It Out as “offensive”.

Mourinho said he doesn’t hear lyrics of fans’ songs during games – with the exception of a simple vitriolic chant often aimed at him by opposition fans – but he praised the United contingent for helping his side to battle to a 1-0 win.

“I don’t understand what the fans sing,” he told a news conference when asked about the Lukaku incident. “The only music I understand clearly is one from my opponents when they tell Mourinho to go to a place. That’s the only one I understand. 

“But the only thing I will say is the fans were amazing, the support amazing from the first to the last minute. It’s important to have that, not when you’re winning 3-0 or 4-0 and winning the game, but it’s more important when you are defending and are exhausted. 

“The songs? I don’t understand them.”

Mourinho was sent to the stands by referee Craig Pawson in second-half injury time after he had been summoned to the touchline by fourth official Mike Jones, but the reason remains a mystery to the United boss.

“I don’t know [what happened],” he said. “Craig told me to leave, and I left.”

United’s win keeps them level on 16 points with league leaders Manchester City, whose 5-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace has given them a goal-difference advantage of four.

Mourinho feels it was a victory they might not have managed last season but admitted he would prefer to win matches by a healthier margin.

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“I know that last season, on these fixtures, I think we would have, maybe, five or six points less than we have this season,” he said. “So we are better this season than last.

“But this is nothing. It’s just a start. A difficult period with an accumulation of matches that comes in October. I really think that six teams are going to fight for the title.

“It’s better to win 5-0 than 1-0. We wanted to win also 5-0. It’s obvious. But it’s not always possible.”

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