Billy Sharp has advised his Sheffield United teammates to expect Elland Road to be a cauldron of noise in Saturday’s mouthwatering showdown against Leeds United.
The prolific Blades striker has predicted there will be a “great atmosphere” for the clash of the two automatic promotion hopefuls in the 12.30pm kick-off fixtures.
Asked at a media conference on Thursday morning what advice he has for teammates who haven’t played at Elland Road, Sharp replied: “‘Don’t expect to hear me’,” as quoted by Yorkshire Post journalist Richard Sutcliffe.
“It will be a great occasion,” he added. “Our fans will be in good voice and it should be a great atmosphere.”
#twitterblades captain – and ex #lufc striker – Billy Sharp, asked what advice he has for any teammates who haven't played at Elland Road: "Dont expect to hear me. It will be a great occasion. Our fans will be in good voice and it should be a great atmosphere."
— Richard Sutcliffe (@RSootyYPSport) March 14, 2019
As a 33-year-old veteran of plenty of derbies down the years, Sharp’s verdict on the Elland Road atmosphere is one worth reading. His confession about the wall of noise his Sheffield United team will face gives an idea from the players’ perspective of what it is like to play at Leeds in a marquee fixture. A lunchtime kick-off tends to take the edge off the atmosphere in even the most ferocious of derbies, but such is the magnitude of Saturday’s occasion, Elland Road and the fans are sure to rise to the occasion. Sheffield United will be entering the snarling lions den, with the famous stadium likely to vibrate and throb with noise. Hostile, intimidating and unflinchingly partisan, it can provide a major advantage for a Leeds team who have played the best football in the Championship this season and are on a roll of impressive results and even better performances. They are unlikely to be accommodating hosts on any level.