Championship

TT Battle: Billy Sharp vs Lucas Joao

The Sheffield derby sees a Sheffield United side looking to continue their pursuit of the Championship crown and a Sheffield Wednesday side that is in complete freefall at the moment. 

Although we’re not quite halfway through the season, it’s a huge game for both sides as it could be the final nail in the coffin for Wednesday boss, Jos Luhukay, while United need to keep up the pressure as the top of the table.

Both clubs need their players to step up and in Billy Sharp and Lucas Joao, it’s easy to see why United are near the top while Wednesday have fallen down the table.

Billy Sharp

In his third spell at his hometown club, Billy Sharp has proven to be a key man for Chris Wilder as he’s scored 10 goals in 13 games for the club and has been a big reason in United’s rise to the top of the table.

A striker who comes alive in the box, Sharp won’t give much you much in terms of build-up play but when the ball’s in the box, the striker comes alive.

Moreover, he may not be blessed with incredible pace or strength but as his goalscoring record states, he just knows how to score.

Against a Sheffield Wednesday side that is falling towards relegation, the striker will surely be licking his lips at playing such a poor side.

At 32, he may be coming towards the end of his career but considering his game, United could well have a striker that will continue to score for the next few years.

TT Garde: B+

Lucas Joao

Signed in 2015, the tall Portuguese striker hasn’t quite lived up to his potential since he joined the Yorkshire side. He had his best year last season as he scored nine goals in 30 games and under pressure boss Jos Luhukay needs his forward to step up in the derby or he could well be out of work.

This season, Wednesday haven’t been too bad going forward but as of yet, Jos Luhukay doesn’t have the top quality forward required to stay in the league – Joao remains the club’s top scorer with five goals in the league.

While on the face of it, it looks as though the Portugues striker has had a solid season, with four of his goals coming in two games, it shows that he hasn’t really played well this year.

TT Grade: C

The Verdict

Despite being seven years younger than Sharp, Joao doesn’t really present much competition for the United man. At 25, the Portuguese forward still hasn’t really performed well enough and if Luhukay has to rely on him to score the goals, Wednesday are in big trouble.

In Billy Sharp, United have a reliable goalscorer who knows where the net is and could be the man to fire them to promotion this year.

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