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Leon Clarke continues to score goals aplenty

Friday 24th November 2017

The Championship has always been an intriguing league from a neutral perspective as we see teams doing much better than expected. One of those teams this season is Sheffield United. Their top goal scorer this campaign is Leon Clarke. With 12 goals already, he is on course to be the league's leading goal scorer.

Since being promoted from League One last season the Blades have come over leaps and bounds. Despite losing 5-4 in a nine-goal thriller against Fulham recently, they have done pretty well, to say the least. Currently third in the Championship, Chris Wilder's side are pushing for any top places. They are just two points behind Wolves who are topping the table as we speak.

United have the joint-best attack in the league with 31 goals scored. Eight of those have come from Billy Sharp who scored a staggering 30 goals in their League One title-winning season last year. Sharp is seen as a hero at the club as he is from Sheffield. Blades fans can usually be heard singing "he's one of our own".

Leon Clarke has been taking the limelight though with 12 goals so far. The 32-year-old has now scored in three consecutive games. He scored his hat-trick against Fulham on Tuesday night, a goal against Burton in a 3-1 away win and four goals in a 4-1 win at home to Hull. With eight goals in just three games, you would expect him to continue his fine form alongside Billy Sharp. These two forwards are definitely a force not to be messed with.

United's next opponents on Saturday evening will be against Birmingham City at Bramall Lane. The last four home games have been victories and Chris Wilder will be aiming to make that five. Steve Cotterill's side has been on a poor run but recently beat Nottingham Forest last weekend. Using a 3-5-2 formation, the Blades will hope to take advantage of their travelling opponents on Saturday.

Defensively, Sheffield United shouldn't need to worry as Birmingham have only scored nine goals this season. Even with that in mind, they shouldn't get too complacent. The Blues do have the joint-worst defence in the Championship, conceding 35 goals already. This is something that Billy Sharp and Leon Clarke will definitely want to take advantage of.

Looking at the Championship, Sheffield United are seven points inside the playoffs. They are also 22 points ahead of the relegation zone which wouldn't even come into thought for any Blades fans right now. It has certainly been an unexpected start for them as they continue to impress pundits with goals from their top two strikers. As long as Clarke and Sharp are up front there should be no reason why they can't contend for a top spot this season.

Even though there have been recent losses to Fulham and QPR, United are in good spirits with how they are positioned at this moment in time. Nobody would have believed them if they said they would be third after 18 games played. Who knows where they will end up at the end of the season and who knows how many goals Leon Clarke and Billy Sharp will end up on. But for now, it looks like Sheffield United are set to have a great season.

Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.

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