Blackpool v Leeds United: YEP Jury give their verdicts

Rodolph Austin.
Rodolph Austin.
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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s clash away at Blackpool.

JONATHAN FORD

We head to Blackpool to play a team that, barring one of the biggest upturns in my time watching football, are going to be playing in League One next season.

That said, it will not be easy for us because the pitch is horrific.

We go into the game in great form, and having a massive win on Wednesday against Fulham helps massively, which is also bettered by the clean sheet we got too.

The team has been terrific in 2015 which has seen a massive change since 2014.

New year has definitely meant new start.

We must now look to kick on for the remainder of the campaign and bring this season-end positivity into 2015-16, but with hopefully a few more quality additions.

The thing that has struck me with the formation that we play, is that we have two quality strikers in Billy Sharp and Mirco Antenucci, who have both chipped in with goals, but neither are suited to the way we play.

Steve Morison is a player who suits the role but is in desperate need of a goal, though his commitment and effort are unquestionable.

We just lack a few quality players to make the team even better. But it is always good when we are looking to make our team look better and we are playing well and winning, rather than changing it because we are awful.

Onto tomorrow, and as long as we approach the game in the right manner, we will win.

If we match their effort and commitment then we will win through ability.

Complacency is how we could lose. But I can’t see us losing this game any other way.

I would like to see a couple of changes.

The schedule and heavy away trips have not been kind to us.

Rudy Austin and Granddi N’goyi are in contention, so why not play both if they are available.

We also still need to remember that our young lads have played 30-plus games each and they are all under 21, which is incredible. Maybe Austin for Alex Mowatt and N’goyi in for Lewis Cook or Luke Murphy, just to use the rotation of squad.

We will be in good numbers again and the fans will enjoy a not-so-distant Saturday 3pm kick-off, so three points is a must.

Prediction: Blackpool 0 Leeds United 4.

KEITH INGHAM

Another away three points were claimed at Fulham on Wednesday. This latest victory was a great team performance, all the players deserve credit for it.

Blackpool on a Saturday at three o’clock was the most surprising fixture announced in June. It will be a bumper day around the seaside town’s hostelries as the ‘invading’ Leeds army cross the border.

It’s a shame less than 2,000 fans will have tickets for the game. It’s expected that many more will be in the home stands. Lee Clark is trying the impossible to save the club from relegation. It looks way beyond them and Division One football beckons next season.

Neil Redfearn will hopefully have Granddi N’goyi in his squad for the trip to seaside. It is still strange that the January loanee signing hasn’t played for the first team, a little like loaning a car then leaving it in the drive! My advice to higher management is make sure players are fit before you take them on.

I’m hoping at least one of the promising youngsters gets a opportunity at the weekend. Lewis Walters or Kalvin Phillips could be given a first-team jersey against the bottom club of the Championship. Mirco Antenucci may also get a start after his goal on Wednesday.

All I can see is a Leeds victory and by a couple of goals too. How we wish the current form could have started earlier in the season. There’s a good feeling amongst the fans at the moment.

Prediction: Blackpool 0 Leeds United 2.

STEPHEN CLARK

Leeds United can appear to do no wrong at the moment, even when they are battered from pillar to post as they were on Wednesday night at Fulham, they come out with a 3-0 victory.

That comes from the team spirit which has been developed by Neil Redfearn, who has firmly put his faith in homegrown talent, ably backed by the best of the continental talent which flooded into Elland Road in the summer.

What has to be admired is how Redfearn has turned players like Scott Wootton, Luke Murphy, Steve Morison and now Gaetano Berardi into key components of his squad. Leeds have a pretty decent squad now, with competition for places and that can only be healthy in the long term.

With the spectre of relegation now a thing of the past, Leeds could be excused if they coasted into the end of the season, but it is all about momentum now and with a trip to Blackpool on the horizon it would be no shock if changes were made and players such as Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt were given a rest.

However, with an international break ahead and the integrity of the competition to think about, I expect Leeds to go with the strongest side available at the seaside tomorrow. The pudding of a pitch at Bloomfield Road is no place to test the latest in our production line of talent, with the home game against Blackburn on April 4 a more suitable game to throw in the new kids on the block.

Prediction: Blackpool 1 Leeds United 3

MATTHEW EVANS

A joyous night at Craven Cottage had it all for travel weary Leeds fans. Berating a couple of former players, a quick fire sending off for the home side and three goals with no reply were lapped up by the huge midweek following.

In truth, United didn’t deserve to win so convincingly but that has rarely mattered and we’ll settle for the same again at Blackpool. There is a lot of talk about the pitch at Bloomfield Road but that feels like an excuse ahead of time.

Given the season that Blackpool are having, Redfearn’s side should be winning comfortably. The return of Sam Byram helped on Wednesday and a comeback for Rodolph Austin would further strengthen the midfield.

Prediction: Blackpool 0 Leeds United 2.

JAMES HARRISON

Everybody knows that Blackpool are going to finish bottom of the league.

Having only won four games this season, people will be expecting a walkover but I don’t think it will be a straightforward game.

Their pitch is atrocious and with our squad not suiting the long ball, it will be interesting to see how our players adapt to the poor service.

When we played them at Elland Road, they dominated us in the second half and were much the better team on that occasion.

If we let them get on top, it will be a very difficult game.

It was a fantastic result at Fulham on Wednesday that carried on our great away form. Let’s hope for more!

Prediction: Blackpool 0 Leeds United 2.

GARY NEWBOULD

Following another great midweek away performance United head to the coast to take on basement-dwellers Blackpool. Whilst the Whites have won five of their last six away games, the Tangerines have won a meagre four times in the league this season and a United victory, combined with victories for Rotherham and Fulham would see the home side all but relegated. United must be wary of a beach of a pitch, however another three points would leave them wishing that the season was ten games longer.

Prediction: Blackpool 1 Leeds United 3.

DEFEAT: For Leeds United head coach Thomas Christiansen.

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