After Leeds suffered their first league defeat of the season at the hands of Birmingham City last Saturday, Marcelo Bielsa must get his side back on track as soon as possible.

His first opportunity to do just that comes in a Yorkshire derby at the home of bitter rivals Sheffield Wednesday.

That’s both good and bad; the form book often goes out of the window on such occasions, but the Owls will be doubly keen to extend Leeds’ misery.

We’ve taken a look at three individual battles that will shape the hotly-contested match…

Marco Matias vs Luke Ayling

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Matias has netted twice and got one assist so far this season and added an extra dimension to the Owls attack.

Ayling is one of the most dependable performers in the Leeds side; but has also been given a more adventurous role under Bielsa.

While the Argentine loves his full-backs to fly forward, he will have to make a plan to keep Matias quiet on Friday night.

It could well turn into a game of cat and mouse. Matias scored last time out at Aston Villa, and will be looking to make it two from two.

 

Barry Bannan vs Mateusz Klich

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Klich has arguably been the player transformed most dramatically by Bielsa’s new methods and style of play.

The midfielder has turned into a goalscoring midfielder and his confidence has gone through the roof.

However, Barry Bannan – valued at £2.7m by Transfermarkt – represents a challenge almost as tough as any offered up in a Championship engine room.

The Scotsman will test how far Klich has come, requiring him to be sharp defensively. Klich will fancy his chances physically, however, and is more than capable of dominating midfield here.

Michael Hector vs Tyler Roberts

(Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

It remains to be seen whether Kemar Roofe will be fit to play, so much may rest on Tyler Roberts’ ability to continue to lead the Leeds line.

Wednesday’s three-man defensive system may isolate Roberts, who will hope to get down the sides if the wing-backs push on.

The former West Brom man has been thrust centre-stage unexpectedly; Bielsa will hope he can continue to shine.

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