Championship tip preview: Sheffield United looking to open up 14-point promotion gap

Tipstrr football expert Sergiu Baltuta previews Friday night's Championship action, when Sheffield United will look to get a head start on their promotion rivals by beating Hull City at home.

Sheffield United sit second in the Championship with 54 points from 27 games, and their current 11-point cushion above third-placed Watford puts them in a great position for automatic promotion back to the Premier League.

The team led by Paul Heckingbottom is enjoying an excellent run of form as well, winning four and drawing the other of their last five games.

On the other side Hull City, who not so very long ago were also playing in the Premier League themselves, are in the bottom half of the table, sitting in 16th spot with 34 points.

The visitors have an eight-point buffer above the drop zone, largely thanks to their own recent run that sees them also unbeaten in six league outings (won two, drawn four), and it's worth noting that both of those most recent successes have come on their travels, winning 1-0 at Birmingham City and 4-1 at struggling Wigan Athletic in the space of four days spanning the turn of the new year.

It's also worth pointing out that their 43 goals conceded is exceeded only by bottom-placed Wigan (47), while only the bottom two have a worse goal difference than the Tigers' -10.

Iliman Ndiaye (10 goals) and Oliver McBurnie (9) have spearheaded the Blades' potent attack (second-best in the league with 47), with the former bagging the first goal on five occasions to the latter's three.

Hull have their own attacking threat in Oscar Estupinan, who is the Championship's second-top goalscorer with 12 of his team's 33 goals, three of which opened the scoring.

Sheffield United won four of the last five head-to-head games between the two clubs, and now have a huge chance of opening up an almost insurmountable gap ahead of the chasing pack of promotion rivals.

Heckingbottom will be looking to the Ndiaye-McBurnie partnership to expose Hull's defensive frailties and maintain their Premier League charge, and it's not easy to see them slipping up in this northern derby.

Latest news