Brighton v Leeds United: YEP jury give their predictions

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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United clash at Brighton.


Gaetano Berardi.

Gaetano Berardi.

Following the midweek draw with Fulham, courtesy of Lewis Cook’s wonder strike, United make the long trek south to take on Brighton.

After a mid-season blip the Seagulls have soared into the play-off positions, having just destroyed Bristol City with a resounding 4-0 away win.

Since the move to their new stadium in 2011 this will be United’s fifth visit – and still in search of a victory.

So far at a ground involving a 430-mile round trip from LS11, the Whites have played there twice on a Friday and twice on a Tuesday, so this time it’s a Monday! If this is simply pure chance then I must have been born yesterday!

Quite simply it’s utterly disgraceful and another fine example of how arrogant and detached from reality (and the fans) the authorities and football’s paymasters clearly are.

Whilst the forward line and goalkeeping positions clearly lack quality and need major re-building over the summer, coach Steve Evans could be faced with a difficult choice/embarrassment of riches in the full-back department for this game with the increasingly impressive and confident Lewie Coyle, competing against the possible return of Gaetano Berardi, who, before his unfortunate injury at The Valley was looking a strong contender for player of the season.

I would definitely try to give Coyle as much game time as possible in a relatively pressure-free environment, rather than risk Berardi by bringing him back too soon. Contrary to many, I actually feel sorry for Scott Wootton, who has tried his best whilst being played totally out of position for most of the season. His honesty is a credit to him, as exemplified by him apologising to the fans and colleagues for his unfortunate error at Watford. Many fellow colleagues and those in seniority at the club would do well to take a leaf from his book. We must find a date in late February/early March and name it Groundhog or Doldrums Day because I’m getting utterly fed up of at this time of year with a another season drifting off into obscurity with still around a third of the campaign to go.

It’s high time that the owner (and supposed successful businessman) started some proper long-term planning and provided some clarity as to his ambitions for the club and its fantastic supporters going forward. If he isn’t prepared to match his words with actions then he should seriously consider his position.

I’m getting used to never quite sleeping safely in my bed each season until we amass 50 points, so we still need another 12 and a point on Monday evening would be very welcome – and possibly the best we can possibly hope for.

Prediction: Brighton 3 Leeds United 1.


So Massimo Cellino has reduced the debt to just over £2million but, as the painfully thin crowd against Fulham hinted, the paying public don’t appear convinced that our owner is the savour he’d like us to think he is.

Apart from a wonderful strike from 19-year-old Lewis Cook there was much of a muchness again about our home performance against a team that has conceded quite a few goals.

Another Saturday is blank due to Sky televising the game tonight, so an already hard and long journey was made more difficult for the long-suffering Leeds fans, but as always they will be there in incredible numbers. Surely these supporters deserve better than, at best, a team in nowhere land in the Championship?

Steve Evans ‘rested’ Scott Wootton on Tuesday and his replacement Lewie Coyle had an impressive Championship debut. Gaetano Berardi was also in the 18 on duty versus Fulham so the head coach has a big decision to make on who plays at right-back. Another decision needs to be made up front; it seems a perfect opportunity for Lee Erwin to be given a start.

Monday night on the south coast at Brighton is a difficult ask, and a share of the points is the best this Leeds fan can hope for.

Prediction: Brighton 1 Leeds United 1.


The Amex has not proved a successful hunting ground for Leeds; we haven’t won there in four attempts. We have lost our last two there without scoring a goal and indeed we have to go back to our time in League One to find the last away victory at Brighton’s previous homes – albeit we did win three out of three in that spell.

After a bit of a wobble in December and January the Seagulls are flying again having won five of their last seven although they did lose heavily at Cardiff last weekend with some uncharacteristic defensive lapses. They sit third in the form table for the last six games behind only Burnley and Hull, having taken 13 points in that period compared to our six. This will be as difficult a game as we have faced all season but as always, if we can avoid any defensive errors of our own we can get a result.

Prediction: Brighton 1 Leeds United 1.


Leeds United put out a statement on the club’s financial situation last week and that has given everybody something to talk about. Very kind of them to fill the void in the absence of meaningful football, new signings or hope for a better season next time around.

It’s a long while since football trumped finances at Elland Road and it’s surely the revenue that Sky take every time they televise even this abject version of Leeds United that has compelled them to move our longest journey of the year to a Monday night.

The fixture change allowed us to spend Saturday watching our recent sparring partners Leicester City go well clear at the top of the Premier League and Everton receive a significant investment. If we win tonight we could go 16th in the Championship. Oh goody!

Prediction: Brighton 0 Leeds United 0.


It is not even March but already I just want this season to end. Leeds United used to be the focal point of the weekend but thanks to Sky TV it’s now just another reason for the Monday blues.

For Brighton there is a heck of a lot riding on this game, as they find themselves in the cut and thrust of a promotion race again. Not bad for a club who just seven or eight years ago had no ground and no hope of ever being close to the Premier League.

For Leeds there are futures to play for according to the manager. But when no-one has any idea what the future holds for Leeds United as a club then that seems a hollow target to aim at. Still lacking any real threat up front, it seems like those fans that make the long trip south do so out of hope and blind loyalty than with any real conviction that they are going to see a Leeds win.

Prediction: Brighton 3 Leeds United 0.


I’m really not confident heading into the Brighton game. A long trip for a Monday night game is very tricky and if we’re not on our game we could receive a good beating. Evans will sit us deep and play a counter-attacking game, which I think we are best at.

Prediction: Brighton 3 Leeds United 1.