Burton Albion v Leeds United: YEP Jury predictions

Liam Bridcutt.
Liam Bridcutt.
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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s crucial Championship clash at Burton Albion.

GARY NEWBOULD

Charlie Taylor.

Charlie Taylor.

Until 3pm on Monday I’d had a great Easter, catching up with family and friends, plenty of good food and refreshment and all boosted by a fantastic point gained in the final throes of our game at St James’ Park. Then came Wolves.

A few days’ reflection and, once again, I’m at risk of the most dangerous commodity in football – hope!

Against Wolves on Easter Monday through what appeared to be a deadly cocktail of nerves and tiredness, United slipped out of the top six for the first time since November.

However, we should all remind ourselves that despite a relatively meagre outlay in comparison to the other main protagonists, the ultimate prize is still well within our grasp.

Aleksandar Mitovik and Gaetano Berardi challenge for the ball.

Aleksandar Mitovik and Gaetano Berardi challenge for the ball.

If we can manage to hold our nerve over the last three matches of the regular season, then you simply buy a ticket for the lottery of the play-offs. Furthermore, whilst far from simple, I wouldn’t swap our run-in with either of those of Fulham or Sheffield Wednesday.

Three victories would secure the coveted place, however we simply need to concentrate on the very next game which will be played at the Pirelli Stadium, home of Burton Albion.

Despite Burton slightly easing their relegation fears with a recent victory at St Andrews, don’t expect any favours from a team managed by Nigel Clough. Indeed, the home victory earlier in the season was United’s first against any team managed by the son of old ‘Big ’Ed’.

With three (and hopefully another three) more games yet to come, I hope the Wolves performance was more stage-fright than fatigue and it would be easy to look back to the January transfer window as a real missed opportunity. However, the inquests can wait until after at least 46 games.

In terms of squad selection, it may be time to give Charlie Taylor some more game-time at the expense of Gaetano Berardi. This is no reflection on the Swiss warrior, who has been simply outstanding, but an appreciation that we need another attacking outlet and the likelihood is that both will be required at some point as and when Pontus Jansson picks up his next booking. Provided he has recovered from illness, then I’d also be tempted to bring back Ronaldo Vieira at the expense of Liam Bridcutt, who seems to be mis-firing at the moment.

It is likely to be a far more open game than Wolves, however it could also be similar to the Whites’ recent encounter at Brentford so we need to be mindful of the lessons from Griffin Park. For me it’s all about belief and trying to make sure things happen, rather than waiting or hoping for them to do. This squad has overcome many such challenges already this season and tomorrow is another chance to re-inflate the challenge at the Pirelli Stadium and stop their hopes going for a Burton.

Prediction: Burton Albion 1 Leeds United 2.

KEITH INGHAM


Well that Easter Monday didn’t go well did it!

Second best in the first half and only marginally better in the second half. Daft as it seems, we could have won it.

But where do Leeds go from here? That’s easy, we move on to Burton because that’s all they can do. Their fate is still in their hands. Win three and the top six is guaranteed, any less and it may let the teams in fifth and sixth stay where they are and that would be a terrible disappointment for the coach, players and fans.

Burton beat Birmingham 2-0 at St Andrews and I saw them play Newcastle at St James’ Park and they looked a decent, hardworking side with no frills. It’s a tight ground and maybe not the place to play Pablo Hernandez; Kemar Roofe is the man to unlock the Burton defence. Liam Bridcutt and Kalvin Phillips didn’t do enough over Easter and I’d like to see Ronaldo Vieira, if recovered from illness, alongside Eunan O’Kane in centre midfield, with Hadi Sacko and Souleymane Doukara on the right and left. Charlie Taylor also needs to be starting at left-back in preference to Gaetano Berardi.

Leeds need to be brave and bold; these aren’t games to hide away and let others do the hard yards. Big performances are needed by all. I’m confident Leeds can get the win that will put them back into the top six.

Prediction: Burton Albion 1 Leeds United 2.

DAVID WATKINS

We have glibly predicted ‘must-win’ games for weeks now but with three left and Leeds now in ‘hunter’ mode this is now the real thing. If we lose at the Pirelli we can safely say the chance of grabbing a play-off place really has gone for a Burton!

That does though assume Fulham don’t lose at Huddersfield and Wednesday don’t lose their tough looking game against Derby. If our two main rivals do lose then we would still be in with a shout even if the worst should happen but for now we assume it’s three points or bust. If Wednesday and Fulham did lose and we won then we would be in great shape with those two playing each other in the final game.

As with every Championship game, this will not be easy; Burton, under Nigel Clough have clawed their way out of the relegation places and are probably one win away from safety, a win they would no doubt love to achieve against Leeds. We have to go in all guns blazing and hope for the best; I think we’ll see goals.

Prediction: Burton Albion 2 Leeds United 4.

MATTHEW EVANS

We’ve come to a scenario that everybody thought wouldn’t happen, our worst nightmare in many respects. If the season had ended on Monday then Leeds United would have missed out on a play-off place in the most agonising way possible.

Fortunately, that wasn’t the case and there are still three games to right that wrong. Three winnable games as well. Garry Monk has spotted the need for urgency and has started talking about us going on the hunt and let’s hope the players take on that mentality.

On paper we should beat Burton but that means absolutely nothing at all. Strap yourselves in and just hope that this United team can do it.

Prediction: Burton Albion 1 Leeds United 2.

STEPHEN CLARK

The time for talking has ended, it’s time for the players to produce.

Seven points is the minimum requirement from the next three games, with perhaps the fact that Fulham and Sheffield Wednesday face each other on the final day the only thing stopping us from needing three wins.

The players have to step up to the plate and go out and play without fear.

They have shown all season that they are good enough to finish in the top six. They now have to show that they believe it. A win is a must against both Burton and Wigan, two sides we are likely not to be meeting next season.

Let’s hope it’s down to our success and not their failures.

Prediction: Who cares. Three points is all that matters.

MIKE GILL

After United’s narrow defeat against Wolves and their exit from the top six it is imperative that they get back on track. Garry Monk has hinted that it will be ‘no holds barred’ in the next three games. Nevertheless I predict a tight game at Burton who are fighting for survival with United to edge it.

Prediction: Burton Albion 1 Leeds United 2.

Liam Cooper. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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