This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Sheffield Wednesday are third going into this afternoon’s fixtures, but things don’t get any easier as they welcome Yorkshire rivals Leeds United to Hillsborough.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side potentially come as one of the biggest threats the Owls will have faced all season as only three teams have had more shots at goal than they have, although, their conversion rate on those chances is quite abysmal.
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Per Transfermarkt, Leeds have recorded 46 shots but have managed to score just 17 goals.
While Wednesday’s defence has kept three clean sheets in the seven matches Garry Monk has been in charge, so this game presents a tense battle.
Julian Borner has featured in all 13 Championship matches this term, so it would seem wise to compare him to last season’s fan-favourite Michael Hector, who many wanted to return going into this campaign.
To put things simply, the German isn’t far behind the 27-year-old, but he has shown why he may have been a better fit for Monk – obviously, this managerial change wasn’t to be known until September, so there’s a slight bit of hindsight.
Hector will be linking up with Wednesday’s Championship rivals Fulham in January after securing a permanent move there from Chelsea.
Whereas Borner was one of Steve Bruce’s final signings at the club before he took the reigns at Newcastle United.
As you can see above, the Jamaican international recorded more tackles (2.1) and clearances (5.4) than the 28-year-old has this season, but you have to consider he’s played just a third of his total matches this term.
On the other hand, Borner clearly has the better ability with the ball at his feet as he is currently averaging over a 10% better passing accuracy rate than Hector. He also allows fewer players to dribble past him at just 0.5 times per game.
This could be down to the height difference between the two, at 6 foot 2, August’s Player of the Month is far more agile meaning he can deal with any quick turns in pace, and this ultimately is why he is more suited to Monk’s system.
The brawn height and power of Dominic Iorfa next to him means the 40-year-old gets the best of both worlds in defence, and maybe that suggests a hint towards why Wednesday’s backline has been rather solid since he has taken charge.
The Owls have only conceded four goals in seven matches since he took over in September.