It’s the steel city derby tonight but in football terms Sheffield is not united and the game isn’t being played on a Wednesday. In the pantheon of great rivalries it’s not up there with Glasgow, Liverpool or Manchester but in Sheffield tonight you are either red or blue. The two clubs have been meeting since 1891 and if Wednesday win both clubs will have won 49 meetings and there will have been 44 draws. Remarkably that outcome would make the win record the same after 142 fixtures between the two Sheffield clubs. Wednesday are the away team and underdogs but if they do lose at least the fans don’t have a long journey home.
It would be symmetrical if Wednesday beat United in Sheffield tonight but the omens are not good. They lost the home fixture against their local rivals in September and United meet the side from up the road on the back of a draw at high flying Derby and a win in the FA Cup at Ipswich. In only two of the last 10 Sheffield derbies at United’s ground have both teams not scored but BTTS is not the bet of the night. Wednesday have not scored in three matches and won just once in 11 fixtures, a run that includes five losses in their last six league matches. The neat Wednesday win in the context of historical records is unlikely due to current form and injuries and UNITED are the team to back at 10/11 with Ladbrokes.
The racing today is over jumps at Huntingdon and Sedgefield and there are All Weather fixtures at Lingfield and Newcastle and Dundalk in Ireland. The Class 2 Fen Juvenile Hurdle at Huntingdon (3pm) is a trial for the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and brings together two decent juveniles. Gumball had two wide margin wins early in the season but disappointed at Cheltenham when raised in class but didn’t jump well. In what looks like a two horse race STYLE DE GARDE has the profile of leading contenders for the four-year-old championship at the meeting that matters most in March so looks a decent bet today at 10/11 with William Hill.
Darts world championships are like London buses because you are waiting for one for 11 months of the year then two arrive at almost the same time. In the context of world affairs the PDC verses the BDO is not Trump against that bloke from North Korea but the split into two organisations was acrimonious and the two bodies have an uneasy relationship. There are four quarter-finals today in the BDO world championship and the defending champion GLEN DURRANT looks a good bet in the outright win market at 8/11.