Barnsley v Leeds United: YEP jury predictions

Jack Butland.

Jack Butland.

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THE YEP jury make their predictions ahead of Leeds United’s trip to Oakwell.

STEPHEN CLARK

Last weekend’s much-needed victory over Blackpool has made tomorrow’s trip to Barnsley a much more comfortable prospect.

With Championship safety almost certainly assured, barring a freakish set of results, the pressure of succumbing to our annual humiliation at Oakwell has been somewhat eased.

Brian McDermott will have enjoyed a relatively stress free week, finally being left totally free to focus on football for probably the first time since before Christmas. At that time, Leeds were nicely placed for a promotion push and having been promised whatever funds he needed to strengthen the squad, would have been looking forward to the new year.

Unfortunately that promise, turned out to be empty words and a disappointing 0-0 home draw in the corresponding fixture with Barnsley was the tip of an iceberg of disastrous results which coupled with the unfolding financial crisis, caused yet another Leeds United meltdown.

Now with the ownership of the club looking relatively stable, McDermott can concentrate on coaching the team. The tracksuit may be a permanent fixture if Mr Cellino gets his way and the club is run on a continental basis where the manager is more of an executive role.

Back in December Leeds were denied a victory by a fine display by Barnsley’s keeper, a certain Jack Butland. It would be a sign of the club’s ambition if they were to pursue a permanent deal for the England international in the summer.

Luke Murphy will also be looking to continue with his improvement after a superb display last weekend. Given the licence to roam in forward areas, he showed the sort of form expected of a man with a million pound price tag. The shape that Leeds played last week seemed to get the best out of all the players and a repeat performance will be needed if they are to end the hoodoo that Barnsley hold over us.

But the Tykes are in the middle of their annual attempt to escape the drop and a midweek win over Charlton has given them a fighting chance of survival.

Trips to Oakwell have been little short of humiliation in recent times with the massed ranks of the travelling support having nothing to cheer about. With well over 6,000 fans expected tomorrow, it’s high time that the fans were rewarded with a decent result. Unfortunately with Barnsley in more need of the points, the only positive I can see is a reduction in the margin of victory.

Prediction: Barnsley 2 Leeds United 1.

KEITH INGHAM

Brian McDermott takes his squad down the M1 to Barnsley tomorrow, a place that has not been a happy hunting ground in recent years.

The win on Tuesday at Charlton lifted Barnsley off the bottom and they are only now two points from the Londoners who are fourth from bottom in the Championship. Leeds’ record at Oakwell is terrible, it includes two heavy 5-2 defeats and their last win was in the 1997/98 season, a 3-2 win back in the Premiership days of both clubs.

Brian McDermott donned a tracksuit, on seemingly Massimo Cellino’s or his daughter’s suggestion and handed ‘running’ the touch line to Nigel Gibbs, two games, two wins in the games he’s done it – so the manager may take a back seat again. I hope that if injuries allow, the same XI get another outing as they did well versus Blackpool. One more thing, please get off Noel Hunt’s back, no player in a Leeds shirt deserves ‘booing’ when coming on as a substitute. It hardly helps his confidence. Support the team!

Prediction: Barnsley 1 Leeds United 2.

JONATHAN FORD

Well, a week without many issues feels so good but we now need to end our bad record at Barnsley. Let’s play with some freedom, they are in the relegation zone for a reason but they won in midweek and will be up for it, so should we. I think we will win but it will be tense.

Prediction: Barnsley 1 Leeds United 2.

ELLIOT BRANSBY

Leeds United are mathematically safe now and everyone’s thoughts can now to turn to preparations for next season and results in our final four games will decide whether or not some players and indeed manager will have a future at the club.

It’s a short trip to Yorkshire neighbours Barnsley tomorrow to face a side fighting to stay in the Championship. It’s do-or -die for the Tykes and as always against us, they will treat it like a cup final. We have not won at Oakwell since 1997 and I can’t put into words how bad our last three performances have been there, so to Brian McDermott and the players you owe us and let’s end this hoodoo!

Prediction: Barnsley 1 Leeds United 2.

GARY NEWBOULD

United head to Oakwell for a Yorkshire derby against Barnsley who usually spring to life at this time of year for their perennial relegation escapology act. With United’s relegation worries now extinguished, they should be the team that can relax and express themselves.

Prediction: Barnsley 2 Leeds United 2.

MICHAEL HEMSWORTH

Just when we thought Barnsley would finally drop through the Championship trapdoor, it looks like they could, once again, be on course for a great escape.

Tuesday’s victory at Charlton gives them real hope, especially with our opponents from last weekend, Blackpool, in complete freefall. We know how much little old Barnsley love to lift their game against their illustrious neighbours. With the added incentive of the chance to move out of the bottom three, tomorrow’s match will be as tough as any that we have experienced at Oakwell in recent years. And we all know how well the last three visits there have gone don’t we?

Prediction: Barnsley 2 Leeds United 1.