The YEP jury make their predictions ahead of Leeds United’s clash with Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat.
IT’S a short trip down the A1 tomorrow as we face Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium for the second time this season.
In August we beat them in the second round of the Capital One Cup 3-1 but now points are at stake and I am confident of the same result.
After leaving Belle Vue in 2007, they moved to the Keepmoat Stadium and after five previous visits we still remain unbeaten there in all competitions.
Donny are currently managed by former player Paul Dickov who had a very short spell with Leeds at the end of the 2009/2010 season where we won promotion to the Championship.
Looking back at our last two home games, taking four points from Wigan and Watford actually shows just how far we have come this season.
Remember that Wigan have just come down from the Premier League and are the FA Cup holders and then Watford who just missed out on promotion last season. These are two teams I expect will be there or thereabouts come May.
Rovers find themselves towards the bottom end of the table and in their last outing they were beaten by Bolton Wanderers 3-0. However, it was only a couple of weeks ago they had an impressive victory over QPR but I guess that’s just down to the nature of this division. I wouldn’t say they had many players who could hurt us but they do have on-loan Federico Macheda from struggling Manchester United ‘heehee’. They also have former striker Billy Paynter who will probably be on the bench.
After the excellent second-half performance against Watford, I can’t see any changes to the starting line-up but I think as we move towards the busy Christmas period the squad will have to be used. After hearing the news Dexter Blackstock has returned to Nottingham Forest we are now a man light in the forward areas but I am looking for Matt Smith to continue his partnership with Ross McCormack who I think is improving with every game he plays.
We still need to improve our away form and get some results away from Elland Road. The mentality needs to be the same and we need to take the game to the opposition a little more than we have been doing. A win tomorrow and next week against Barnsley are a must because after that we have two tough games at Blackpool and Nottingham Forest. Let’s stay in or around the play-offs and see what the January transfer window brings.
prediction: Doncaster Rovers 1 Leeds United 3.
After the news that Dexter Blackstock’s loan deal has been prematurely ended due to a knee injury while Noel Hunt is on the verge on returning to training, Leeds will hope that talisman Ross McCormack will keep clear of injury and continue his remarkable scoring exploits this season.
As I’ve said before, he is the best goalscorer at the club.
Leeds travel to Doncaster tomorrow to a side 20th in the Championship with 20 points. If fit, ex-Leeds striker Billy Paynter will be hoping to put one over his former club. Reece Wabara was said to be interesting Brian McDermott but opted for the South Yorkshire club. Their manager is Paul Dickov and he will know Matt Smith from their time together at Oldham last season.
Yorkshire derbies are always hard to call but Leeds’ away form must improve to their chances of keeping up with teams that occupy the top six.
This division is still throwing up strange results. That said, I’m hoping that Leeds win return home with the three points.
prediction: Doncaster Rovers 1 Leeds United 2.
The players can take heart from the second-half showing last Saturday and if they can turn that into 90 minutes we should beat a Doncaster team who look light in this division.
I’m going to go for a comfortable win by two or three goals.
prediction: Doncaster Rovers 0 Leeds United 3.
Leeds United will once again stride out for an away game with a huge backing behind them at the Keepmoat Stadium tomorrow.
With 3000+ supporters to cheer them on, Brian McDermott’s side will be looking to continue to play the exciting attacking football which almost brought them all three points from a seemingly hopeless position at half-time against Watford.
Since that heartbreaking play-off final defeat at Wembley, our record against Doncaster has been pretty good, and with Rovers struggling Leeds should see this as three points they should take to keep in the play-off hunt.
Prediction: Doncaster Rovers 0 Leeds United 2.
United head to the Keepmoat tomorrow afternoon looking to try and get back into the Championship play-off places.
A repeat of the League Cup success earlier in the season is more than welcome, but I’m expecting a tough match.
Prediction: Doncaster Rovers 1 Leeds United 3.
News of Dexter Blackstock’s injury was a big blow to us this week.
Although Matt Smith has stepped up well over the last couple of games, we have lost a striker with key experience and quality just as we head into the busy Christmas period of matches.
With games coming thick and fast now, it’s time to improve on an away record that has really hampered our progress in the last 12 months.
The Keepmoat Stadium has generally been a happy hunting ground for Leeds and a second win of the season there tomorrow would likely see us break back into the top six ahead of a busy Chrismas period.
Prediction: Doncaster Rovers 1 Leeds United 2.