Bolton v Leeds United: YEP jury predictions

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Have your say

Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United FA Cup fourth round tie at Bolton Wanderers.

KEITH INGHAM

Souleymane Doukara.

Souleymane Doukara.

It’s been a while since I did the last large preview in the YEP so I thought I’d have a look back as, in my opinion, nothing much is going forward at the club.

We’ve had ‘pie gate’, some indifferent performances but an improvement, if ever so slowly, of the club’s league position under the tenure of the larger than life character that is Steve Evans.

The Sky debate rages on with another game at Elland Road in February, rescheduled at the whim of the television company and the Football League.

Quite simply, it’s not fair on season ticket holders and those who want to watch a game when it’s supposed to be played.

There seems an acceptance that this season is another not to expect anything better than a mid-table position and, if this is a club showing ambition, I will really ‘eat my hat’ in public.

My opinion is that, under Massimo Cellino, this will never change and that, for the paying public, is totally not acceptable; we need a vision and some belief.

Evans admitted he set out the team incorrectly against Brentford on Tuesday.

Another poor performance in the first half in which they fell behind was followed by a vast improvement in the second period when, after Souleymane Doukara forced Button into a fantastic save, substitute Mustapha Carayol’s shot equalised for Leeds. And he was close to getting the team three points when his 30-yard effort was superbly saved. A draw was a decent result.

The magic of the FA Cup returns at the Macron Stadium. Bolton are in dire straights and look likely to slip into administration if nobody comes in to save them financially.

Players are being released and the better ones sold on to try and save this once famous football club. This game, for both teams, is important for different reasons: Bolton need the money, Leeds need a good cup run to placate a increasingly despondent set of fans. It’s not easy being Leeds.

Evans may change things for this cup tie. Toumani Diagouraga, or ‘Dave’ as he is nicknamed, may get his first full start, and, if Chris Wood has not recovered from a slight hamstring strain, Doukara, who has forced himself into the first team by improved performances, may yet again lead the line.

Carayol could also regain his place on the left wing.

Backed by nearly 7,000 fans, I’m very hopeful of progressing to round five and, hopefully, a home tie to look forward to.

Prediction: Bolton Wanderers 1 Leeds United 2.

STEPHEN CLARK

With the League season to all intents and purposes over bar the shouting, the FA Cup remains the only real thing for Leeds fans to get excited about.

The draw, whilst not the most attractive on paper, offers Leeds a chance to progress to the last 16 of the competition.

Bolton are in trouble both on and off the field and would themselves benefit from an extended cup run, although the tie does not appear to have captured the imagination of the locals, with reports indicating that there is the possibility of there being more travelling than home fans.

Where most teams seem to use the Cup as an opportunity to use fringe players, the paucity of the Leeds squad means that Steve Evans has little option but to select his strongest available team.

Unfortunately Leeds appear to have nothing in reserve in the attacking areas of the pitch, and with Chris Wood likely to miss out with his hamstring problem, there is a huge question of where the goals are going to come from.

Leeds also have to get the shape and tactics right, because too often readjustments have to be made in the second half. Evans needs to stop putting square pegs in round holes and select players in the positions they are most comfortable in. If he does, Leeds should be in the hat for the fifth-round draw.

Prediction: Bolton Wanderers 1 Leeds United 2.

MATTHEW EVANS

Tuesday threw up yet another mind numbing performance that barely justified the hastily re-arranged travel arrangements to London on a week night in January.

We looked off the pace and the effort that was there for all to see before Christmas seems to have vanished on the back of a couple of away defeats and the sale of our most talented player.

Fortunately, Saturday means we can reverse the cliché and concentrate on the Cup. You would hope that the levels of desire might go up a few notches for a very winnable game tomorrow.

I think we’ll make the fifth round but not before a replay because, if it’s not inconvenient and expensive, it’s not Leeds United.

Prediction: Bolton Wanderers 1 Leeds United 1.

JAMES HARRISON

With the league possibly over, the FA Cup is a great chance to go on a run and bring some enjoyment to the season.

Tomorrow is winnable. Toumani Diagouraga should start and he’ll be shocked to see the 7,000 Leeds fans there.

Prediction: Bolton Wanderers 0 Leeds United 2.

DAVID WATKINS

With a potentially huge 6,800 fans behind them at Bolton, Leeds have their best chance in years of reaching the fifth round of the FA Cup.

But so often in the recent past, whenever we take a big following away we lose, so this is also a chance to reward those travelling hoards with a rip-roaring performance and a win.

Bolton will be no pushovers though; no Championship side ever is and the Trotters are fresh from an impressive 3-1 home win over M K Dons which might just be a turning point in this miserable season of theirs.

Leeds have a good recent record at Bolton, having not lost in four visits, though three of those were drawn. And it’s hard to come up with any other prediction than another draw.

Prediction: Bolton Wanderers 1 Leeds United 1.

GARY NEWBOULD

Relegation-threatened Bolton need the FA Cup to try and keep going financially.

The travelling 7,000 will boost their coffers for a game United are more than capable of winning, but a draw is more likely.

Prediction: Bolton Wanderers 1 Leeds United 1.

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