In the absence of a Steel City derby against main rivals United, a clash with Leeds is arguably the fixture that Sheffield Wednesday fans look forward to most.
So, ahead of tomorrow’s meeting at Hillsborough between the two sides, here are five memorable matches that Owls will recall fondly...
Sheffield Wednesday 6 Leeds United 0 January 11 2014
We didn’t have to go too far back to find the Owls’ best win as last year, Stuart Gray, then yet to be given the job on a full time basis having stepped in as caretaker when Dave Jones was sacked, masterminded an absolute hammering over United. It was reasonably comfortable from the start with Reda Johnson and Atdhe Nuhiu firing the home side into a comfortable half time lead. No one at that stage could have foreseen what would happen after the break though as Matt Smith, on at half time for Tom Lees, received his marching orders just two minutes into the second period and from there it was a stroll for Wednesday as Leeds defended like they’d never seen a ball before.
Connor Wickham made it 3-0 before Chris Maguire began to add gloss to the scoreline. That gloss was glittering towards the end as two goals in the last ten minutes from young substitute Caolan Lavery capped a remarkable day at Hillsborough. It was Wednesday’s biggest win over Leeds and the latter’s heaviest defeat in 55 years.
Leeds United 2 Sheffield Wednesday 3 March 3 2007
This one, having looked for so long like being a rare easy win for the Owls, could have ended up as one of the 22 draws between the two teams over the years. Marcus Tudgay’s looping header had Wednesday 1-0 up after just seven minutes before a brilliantly executed 40-yard lob from Chris Brunt doubled the advantage. Tudgay was sent off just after the break, harshly receiving a second yellow card for taking a shot after the whistle had blown, but Jermaine Johnson’s thunderbolt from the edge of the box looked to have calmed any nerves. That was until the 88th minute when a spectacular Lee Bullen own goal breathed life into United and soon after Richard Cresswell pulled another back. Right at the end, Ian Moore forced Iain Turner to tip his header over the bar right at the end but Wednesday held on to win.
Leeds United 1 Sheffield Wednesday 3 - January 17 1998
Wednesday don’t always make things easy for themselves and this Premier League clash was another prime case of that. Having weathered something of a storm, with Kevin Pressman denying Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink on a couple of occasions, Ron Atkinson’s Owls went into the lead when Jon Newsome tapped home against his old club after Leeds’ stand in keeper Mark Beeney had failed to hold on to Andy Booth’s shot. However, United fought back and just after the hour mark, Mark Pembridge fired into the roof of his own net, on the goal line after a cross from Harry Kewell. The home side were in the ascendancy then, with Kewell, then only 19, looking dangerous every time he had the ball. But with seven minutes to go, Booth came up trumps for Wednesday when he powered in at the back post to fire Ian Nolan’s cross into the top corner.
Leeds United 0 Sheffield Wednesday 2 - 20 August 1996
Slap bang in the middle of an amazing start to the new season, Wednesday hitched up at Elland Road, coming off the back of an opening day win over Aston Villa, and registered a comfortable 2-0 win. Regi Blinker was the star of the show, playing a big part in Ritchie Humphreys’ opener with a driving run through the midfield. Leeds rallied a little and Lee Sharpe struck the post after a fantastic run after the break, but in the final minute, Blinker was again the provider as his sublime through ball with the outside of his foot released Andy Booth and the striker beat Nigel Martyn to complete the scoring. Wednesday would go on to win all of their games in August and the first in September to top the Premiership. Booth would score again against Leeds, later in the season - the equaliser in a 2-2 draw.
Sheffield Wednesday 6 Leeds United 2 - 16 December 1995
A pre-Christmas feast of goals began in just the fifth minute when Belgian Marc Degryse had Wednesday ahead with the first of a double, heading in Lee Briscoe’s cross. Guy Whittingham added a second before Degryse’s brilliant turn and shot after a clever flicked free kick from Chris Waddle had the Owls 3-0 up after just 25 minutes. Thomas Brolin pulled one back a few minutes later with the epitome of a scrappy goal but after half time Wednesday kicked off their goal rush again with Mark Bright scoring the fourth after Leeds struggled to clear their lines. David Hirst drilled in the fifth and although Rodney Wallace scored another consolation, Hirst again wrapped up the scoring to hit United for six.