Leeds United will cut the gap between themselves and opponents Sheffield United to just a point should they beat the Blades on Friday.
The Whites bounced back brilliantly following a run of three straight defeats when they comfortably beat Bristol City 3-0 away from home last Saturday, and head coach Thomas Christiansen will be hoping for more of the same against the Blades.
However, Chris Wilder’s side will certainly provide a sterner test for Leeds as the recently promoted side currently sit in third spot and have only lost twice on the road this season.
Allowing the visitors to leave Elland Road with three points would leave a considerable gap between the Whites and the top three; and Christiansen is fully aware that it is a must win game.
Speaking to YEP, he said: “If we lose we are seven points behind Sheffield United. At this stage it’s too much.”
Friday could also see Leeds switch to a three at the back formation for the visit of Sheffield United as they look to cement themselves at the top end of the table.
Leeds will be boosted by the return of winger Stuart Dallas following the death of his mother, and the potential change in system could see him return straight into the starting eleven on the left wing.
This could also see Pontus Jansson return to the squad, despite recent poor form, as the third centre-back.
Gaetano Berardi’s suspension and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson’s injury rule both out of the Yorkshire derby but apart from Caleb Ekuban, who is nearing a return from injury, Thomas Christiansen has a fully fit squad to choose from ahead of the crucial encounter.
The last match between the sides came during Simon Grayson’s era in 2011 but sadly, Leeds were well beaten by the Blades in a 2-0 defeat at Bramall Lane.
Robert Snodgrass was the match-winner the last time this fixture was played at Elland Road, with the Scottish International sparking wild celebrations with a late winner.
Visiting manager Chris Wilder and his side will be favourites based on the last five matches between the sides; which has seen Sheffield win two, Leeds win one, as well as two 1-1 draws.
However, Leeds will be confident that the incredible atmosphere that their supporters always produce, along with the fact that they have only lost once at home this season will aid them in defeating their Yorkshire rivals.