Derby County v Leeds United: YEP jury predictions

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Our YEP jury have their say on Leeds United’s clash at Derby County.

KEITH INGHAM

Kemar Roofe.

Kemar Roofe.

Another international break, another disappointing couple of England performances, the less said about Scotland the better!

To be honest another ‘break’ was just at the wrong time; Leeds had just won five out of six games and kept clean sheets in three of them.

Without doubt the upturn in form has coincided with the introduction of a certain Swede, Pontus Jansson, and his partnership with on-loan Swansea defender Kyle Bartley.

These two have brought a ‘toughness’ to the defence not seen since Richard Naylor back in the League One days.

Saying this though, credit also goes to the other members of the defence. Luke Ayling, Richard Green and Charlie Taylor have contributed to the unit that has made great strides in September and the beginning of October.

If you look in the ‘engine’, the key has been the form of Pablo Hernandez, moved around in his early games for the club but now in his natural no10 role. Quick of foot and mind and gradually the players around him are anticipating where he is putting the ball. Eunan O’Kane was an established Premier League player last season so it is no surprise that he’s improved that area of the team.

It is a pity that captain Liam Bridcutt will be absent for a period of time, because I think a midfield of him, O’Kane and Hernandez is up there with the best. Kalvin Phillips, mind you, has been an able replacement for the skipper and has put in some superb ‘shifts’ since coming into the team, while Ronaldo Vieira and Alex Mowatt provide competition for this position too.

Up front, Chris (goals) Wood has shown in patches why we paid an awful lot of money for him, and if only a little steadiness could be added to Hadi Sacko’s impressive wing play, I’m sure goals aplenty could arrive from the gifted winger.

Stuart Dallas seems to have the ‘nod’ over Kemar Roofe, but may be absent due to an injury sustained in the international break.

Roofe or Mowatt will replace the winger on Saturday.

Eleven games in with 16 points is better than I expected and with Derby and Wigan next up I expect that total to improve. Derby struggled under Nigel Pearson but with Steve McClaren back at the helm it looks like a tougher game than it would have done a month ago.

Another difficult period awaits with five games in 14 days, I’m confident that Leeds can repeat last season’s win at Pride Park to start it on a positive note.

Prediction: Derby County 1 Leeds United 2.

STEPHEN CLARK

Leeds United return to action after one of the most uninspiring international breaks ever with everyone’s mind fully focused on the return of ‘proper’ football.

The Whites entered the unwanted break in fine form and we can only hope that the upward momentum of five wins in seven has not been stalled whilst we have been ‘treated’ to some ‘classic’ international football.

Leeds will have to do without Garry Monk on the touchline after he was banned for a match following his antics at Bristol City.

We will also be without Stuart Dallas who has returned from Northern Ireland duty with an injury.

This should give Kemar Roofe an opportunity to show us what he can offer, and that is likely to be the only change as we head to Derby to meet a club in crisis.

The Rams have had a shocking start to the season. They are struggling to score goals (with just one in seven home games since last season) and are looking forward to the return of Steve McClaren as manager. Pride Park/iPro hasn’t been the happiest of hunting grounds, but with that bogie laid to rest last season, hopefully we can return to the days when we won there on a regular basis during our Premier League years.

Prediction: Derby County 1 Leeds United 2.

DAVID WATKINS

The first game following an international break is always a bit of an unknown.

Will Leeds pick up where we left off and extend our recent good run of five wins in six? Or will our momentum disappear quicker than Nigel Pearson on a bus out of Derby?

The fact Derby have jettisoned Pearson after such a poor start also throws another unknown into the equation. Under temporary manager Chris Powell the Rams recorded a 2-0 win at Cardiff (just as we did recently) and a creditable 
1 -1 draw at Reading, who needed a 90th-minute equaliser. Throw ‘new’ boss Steve McClaren into the mix and Derby will surely be a tougher nut to crack. Just Leeds’ luck that Pearson went so soon!

Prediction: Derby County 1 Leeds United 1.

GARY NEWBOULD

Following the international break United head to Derby tomorrow afternoon.

The Rams are in turmoil after a poor start to the season and have decided to re-appoint Steve McClaren after he left previously to join Newcastle United. We can only hope it rains and he brings his brolly!

United looking to maintain their good firm of late will probably be without Stuart Dallas. The first goal will be vital and if the Whites can get it then the home natives may well become restless.

Prediction: Derby County 2 Leeds United 2.

MATTHEW EVANS

United return from the international break facing great expectations from the faithful as we enter a busy period.

A significant upturn in form through the previous month has left us fans with a smile on our faces and dreaming of a promotion challenge.

Derby are not the formidable force they have been in the past and, having broken a long-running winless streak at the iPro Stadium last year, this fixture should carry less fear than you’d maybe imagine. They’ve got the new (old) manager honeymoon effect but we’ll have another vociferous away end and a team that is growing into a very effective unit by the game.

Another United win is surely on the cards.

Prediction: Derby County 1 Leeds United 2.

MIKE GILL

Under a coach like Garry Monk, it’s hard to believe that United will do anything other than take all three points.

One day all the hard work is going to come together and they’re going to bag a few goals. Maybe Saturday?

I must admit it’s a scary thing to feel so optimistic, but what the heck!

Prediction: Derby 0 Leeds 3.

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy at Elland Road on Saturday. Picture by Simon Hulme

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