By Mark Smith

11th Jan, 2020 | 11:30am

MOT View: Parker praise for ace who makes Sheffield Weds 'tick' highlights who Leeds must stop

Leeds United have somewhat struggled in recent games against Sheffield Wednesday.

A 0-0 draw in the reverse fixture saw the Whites concede numerous chances, which is rare under Marcelo Bielsa. In this game last season, Leeds were frustrated for large periods of the game before Jack Harrison managed to force home the winner.

Leeds will be looking to strengthen their grip on top spot on Saturday, and a win would see them keep their place as well as maintaining the nine-point gap to the playoffs.

Ben Parker has recently commented on Sheffield Wednesday’s main dangerman and highlights someone the Whites need to be wary of on Saturday afternoon.

“This guy Barry Bannan, he makes them tick,” he said on LUTV’s Scouting Report.

“He’s the heartbeat of their midfield. He’s really nice on the ball, technically, really really good.

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“He’s had a growing influence at Sheffield Wednesday over the last couple of years and it almost seems when he plays well, the team plays well.

“He’s vital to what they do.”

Kalvin Phillips could be the man tasked with keeping Bannan quiet, just as he was at Hillsborough earlier in the season.

The 24-year-old definitely has the ability to do just that, compared to the Owls midfielder he has averaged double the amount of tackles this season per game, as well as making more interceptions, passes, and long balls [Yorkshire Evening Post].

Bannan averages 50.6 passes per game [WhoScored], which is almost 10 more than any other player for Garry Monk’s side – showing Leeds could go a long way towards victory by stopping the Scottish international.

In other Leeds United news, PL club will consider player exit to Leeds if 23y/o asks to leave in January