After the events of the last day of the January transfer window, this game will now be known as the Dan James derby for the foreseeable future.
The 20-year-old winger was sat in Elland Road for five hours on Deadline Day after completing his medical for a loan move to The Whites (with a view to a permanent deal in the summer), only for Swansea to refuse to sign off on a deal they had earlier agreed with Leeds United.
Expect a spiky affair when the sides meet on Wednesday night, but one does wonder how James will react to it all if he plays. Swans boss Graham Potter has left that query open ended when asked about it coming into this, but one thing that isn’t in doubt is Swansea’s awful record when they travel to Leeds.
The Welsh outfit only ever won once at Elland Road and that was all the way back in 1949, they also lost their last nine matches in-a-row there.
That awful record and the fact Leeds have welcomed back some of their injured stars in the last couple of weeks has us tipping a home win here at 8/13.
Verdict: Leeds to win @ 8/13.
This match-up features two managers who must have irritated scalps from the amount of head scratching they’ve done since the weekend, as they both try to figure out how they’re not coming into it on the back of three points.
The Blades looked wonderful as Billy Sharp cut Aston Villa to ribbons to put them three up at Villa Park as the game ticked into its final moments, but three goals in 12 minutes saw them throw away a chance to top the division last Friday night.
The following day, Middlesbrough seemed to be following the Tony Pulis handbook to the letter as they attempted to cling onto a 1-0 lead by their finger nails against Leeds. Yet, like Sheffield United, Boro were stung late on as Kalvin Phillips claimed a 101st minute equaliser for the visitors.
Both sides are still dreaming of automatic promotion though, and a victory on Wednesday could be a key result for their respective hopes. It’s very tight in the table between the two, so we will stay away from predicting a result here.
Middlesbrough have scored on their last two visits to Bramall Lane though, and Sheffield United have netted in their last five Championship home games.
Verdict: Both team to score @ evens.
Villa manager Dean Smith is sure to get a warm welcome from his former club’s fans after jumping ship to the Villains – but things haven’t gone according to the script.
Brentford made a habit of beating Villa under Smith’s tutelage, but Bees’ boss Thomas Frank was assistant manager for three years to Smith and should know the score.
On recent form, Brentford look to have the edge and bring a creditable draw away to Norwich, three wins and last weekend’s loss to Nottingham Forest to the party.
Villa, on the other hand, continue their schizophrenic results highlighted by coming from 3-0 down at home to level it 3-3 with Sheffield United last Friday to add to their two draws, loss and solitary win over relegation-threatened Ipswich in their last five games.
Given what’s at stake – on the sidelines as much as anywhere – we’ll settle on both teams to score.
Verdict: Both team to score @ 1/2.
Another former manager welcomes his old club this time, with Alex Neil enviously eying Norwich’s rise to the top.
A neat 20 points separate these sides as Preston and Neil have yet to get one over on the Scot’s former side – with two draws and a loss in the book.
Daniel Farke’s side are currently on their longest away game unbeaten run (13) and have scored more goals on the road (26) already; more than they managed last season.
It looks tight and avoiding defeat could be the Canaries main aim, so we’ll give ourselves a few options by going for a draw.
Verdict: A draw @ 11/5
* All odds correct at time of publishing