Leeds United even stevens with Newcastle ahead of 'massive occasion' - Whites forward

Kemar Roofe
Kemar Roofe
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Kemar Roofe is confident that Leeds United can exact revenge on Newcastle United and insisted they would not be intimidated by a sold-out St James’ Park during another key promotion clash.

Kemar Roofe is confident that Leeds United can exact revenge on Newcastle United and insisted they would not be intimidated by a sold-out St James’ Park during another key promotion clash.

Leeds will be faced with a capacity crowd of 52,000 on Good Friday as the Easter weekend brings together two of the Championship’s top six but Roofe said the fixture was a “50-50” game, despite Newcastle’s home advantage.

Newcastle began the season as heavy favourites for the title and are second in the table behind Brighton having maintained a consistent bid for automatic promotion since the earliest stages of the campaign.

The Tyneside club, who suffered a 2-1 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday over the weekend, are the highest-scoring side in the Championship and will be virtually assured of a top-two finish if the beat Leeds on Friday.

Newcastle emerged with a 2-0 victory from the sides’ meeting at Elland Road in November, a match which Roofe started.

Rafa Benitez’s side have lost five times at home, however, and Roofe claimed that Leeds’ 3-0 win over Preston North End at Elland Road on Saturday had shown them to be “one of the best” attacking sides in the division.

United are on the brink of qualifying for the play-offs with 72 points and five games remaining and Roofe said: “It’s 50-50, it’s 11 versus 11 and they don’t have any more players than us.

“We’re going to do our best and we’re confident in what we do. It’s going to be a massive occasion but at the end of the day it’s just another game. It’s another three points to push us on and cement that play-off place and promotion.”

United have scored 19 goals fewer than Benitez’s team this season but Roofe helped to raise Leeds’ creativity levels on Saturday in a rousing victory against Simon Grayson’s Preston.

“We’ve got the players to do it and we showed again that when we’ve got the ball and we’re passing it around and attacking, we’re one of the best in the league,” Roofe said.

Roofe was forced off against Preston with 20 minutes remaining after suffering from cramp but will be available for the trip to St James Park.

“With the weather, it was a hot day, there was a lot of running and the ground was hard,” Roofe said. “It was just cramp but something I couldn’t prevent or stop.”

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