Some degree of repeat of last year’s antics at Elland Road would be rather nice, but seemingly quite unlikely. That game was a rare highlight under the charge of Steve Cotterill last year as the Reds ran riot to register a memorable 3-7 scoreline much to our own surprise as much as anything. I’m sure our hosts will be keen to avoid that kind of outcome again, and will be keen to dish out some revenge whilst they’re at it.
The Reds of course remain unbeaten – their last two outings have seen them come from behind to snatch points, one deserved at home to Birmingham, and one definitely a case of smash-and-grab (albeit a lovely goal) away at Palace. Leeds have succumbed to defeat in their last two games away at Cardiff and at home midweek to Hull City – so will be eager to make amends and get some points on the board.
We await news on the extent of the injury that brought Hutchinson off the pitch at Selhurst Park midweek, and Adlene Guedioura will miss the match as he begins his three game suspension for his silly red card – so one thing is certain, there’ll be no repeats of his epic piledriver in this game last season, and obviously with Garath McCleary having moved on too we are going to have to look elsewhere for goals!
Leeds are without striker Ross McCormack, which is good news for us, and have injury concerns over Adam Drury and Luciano Becchio – but both have a good chance to playing. David Norris and Paul Green are also unavailable to Leeds boss Neil Warnock.
Whilst we’re rapidly becoming draw specialists, certainly on the road, Leeds have only shared to spoils once in their six games so far, which sees them firmly in mid-table (for what a League Table is worth after six games). Also like us, they’ve only kept one clean sheet this season in the league – and it was on the opening day too – so maybe that does point to a high scoring game between us.
As ever, a difficult one to call – Leeds have had a fair bit of personnel change, admittedly not as much as us, this season with the departure of a number of their players to Norwich – and of course we’re still very much finding out shape and best style of play (do remain unbeaten whilst doing so is an impressive feat!). Cliché or not, this is one that could go either way I think.
Both defences seem to have had trouble keeping the ball out of the net and whilst Leeds are undoubtedly letting in too many goals, as are we, they are banging plenty in as well – they’ve yet to fail to score in a fixture this season, putting ten goals in so far compared to our nine – so should we manage to get our noses in front there’ll be nervousness in the ranks, and the same will be true for them if they score first.
The only other thing to note is the referee is Andy D’Urso – try as I might I can assign any specific howlers to him, but it is before 8am on Friday morning so that could be my brain not being up to the job, and his name is familiar – which is a bad sign normally for referees. Our last couple of trips to Elland Road have been eventful to say the least, let’s hope for a competent display from the man in the middle.
Who said I wasn’t optimistic!?
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