Football in Yorkshire: Leeds United and Sheffield United in the Next Premier League Season
When Leeds United won promotion to the Premier League this summer, it was after spending 16 years away from England’s top tier. The Peacocks now join The Blades from Sheffield United in the 2020-21 season of the Premier League.
And this means, of course, that Yorkshire will have once again more than one team in the top league: Leeds from the West, and Sheffield from the South. The biggest county in the UK holds the record of the oldest club still playing football in the world – Sheffield F.C. founded in 1857.
Let us take a look at the two teams representing Yorkshire in the next Premier League season:
Just to have an idea how much time has passed since Leeds where last time in Premier League – they were relegated when Greece and FC Porto hadn’t yet won their respective Euro 2004 and UEFA Champions League titles, and young English stars Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund) and Harvey Elliott (Liverpool) where roughly one-year-old. Also, the Brazilian Ronaldo, was still one of the best players in the world.
The team now features the three times Champions League winner with Real Madrid, Kiko Casilla who is the number 1 goalkeeper, and former Valencia and Swansea City player Pablo Hernandez. The coach is the famous Marcelo Bielsa. The Argentinian took Leeds to the Championship title in his second year in charge.
Fans believe that the players and the coach are equipped for a long run in the top English league. The club has won the title three times in its 100-year history, the last time in 1992, the season just before the Premier League was founded. Leeds was the runner-up in the 1975 European Cup final, and semi finalists in the 2001 Champions League, but these achievements seem far away now.
Pundits see Leeds as a contender for the upper half of the table, with some bookies viewing them as a challenger for the European League spots. Various football betting events related to English football place Leeds roughly at the same level with Everton, Wolves, and former champions Leicester City.
Marcelo Bielsa will lead the team in the toughest fixture possible in the first league game – away at Liverpool, so it will certainly be a classy return to the Premier League for Leeds.
Chris Wilder’s team raised many eyebrows in the last Premier League season. They finished 9th, above some stronger-on-paper and more wealthy teams, like Everton. Sheffield managed to defeat Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham on the way, and also to draw with Manchester United.
That is remarkable when you recall that they finished 11th four years ago in the third tier of English football. They were promoted to the Premier League only last year, and they have the lowest overall wages and squad market value.
Wilder is a true legend of the club – born in Sheffield, he brought the team from the third league to the Premier and was also a player for the club 30 years ago. The team had a series of three wins and a draw this year, just before the season stopped due to the pandemic, when they peaked at 5th place in the Premier League.
One of their best players, goalkeeper Dean Henderson, has returned to parent club Manchester United after his loan spell with the Blades. Sheffield had the fourth best defence, after the Manchester teams and champions Liverpool. In fact, their defence was just six 6 goals shy of the champions.
Maybe next season will be more challenging, but Sheffield United really did prove that Yorkshire football is back among the best of the Premier League.
And we really think that Leeds and Sheffield will go hand in hand next season. Just two amazing facts: The past season was their best in a long time, with Sheffield’s previous best finish 9th in 1992 when Leeds won the title, and before that was the 6th in 1975 when Leeds reached the European Cup final. Pretty interesting, right?