Leeds United Jury: A slight ‘shuffling of the pack’ can get United back on track against Reading

Andy Lonergan.
Andy Lonergan.
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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s home clash with Reading.

DAVID WATKINS

Felix Wiedwald.

Felix Wiedwald.

It’s obviously too early to be talking about must-win games in terms of the final outcome of the season but in terms of settling everybody’s nerves and regaining that early-season momentum then this game is pretty vital.

It’s also important to show that despite those notable recent failures away from home, we are still a powerful force in front of a full house at Elland Road.

Reading will be no pushovers though, as they need to get their season back on track having not registered a win since the end of August.

They don’t concede many – just 12 in their 10 league games and that’s a record only bettered by sides in the current top 10.

We will all be eagerly awaiting the team news at 2pm tomorrow to see what changes Thomas Christiansen makes as, surely he must, and I’m hoping a bit of a shuffle of the pack does the trick.

A narrow Leeds win for me to keep everyone calm!

Prediction: Leeds United 1 Reading 0.

KEITH INGHAM

We’ve been here before, impressive runs that turn upside down. Time to show that the superb early season was no flash in the pan, and it starts tomorrow against Reading.

Thomas Christiansen has some big decisions to make, especially in the defence department. A unit that looked so strong before has become a soft touch and steel is needed in it.

The very popular Pontus Jansson isn’t doing the basics and could make way for fit-again Matthew Pennington and a change in goal would be popular with most fans, me included.

Andy Lonergan deserves the chance to make the number one spot his own. Felix Wiedwald just doesn’t command his penalty area, whereas ‘Lonners’ showed enough in the Burnley game ; he is the more experienced option.

A knee-jerk reaction is not needed, but the players who were rightly acclaimed have fallen short in recent games, so it’s up to them to right a few wrongs. And I still feel we need another option, formation wise with two players up front.

We’ve got the players so why not utilise them?

Jaap Stam wasn’t the most popular manager to visit LS11 last season and his post-match moan was seen as sour grapes by the Leeds supporters.

He has a squad that has under-achieved so far this season as the league table shows. They sit 20th, only a point outside the bottom three.

All games are important, but this one is, hopefully, a step in the right direction after the disappointing results before the international break.

Expect a tight game with Leeds winning the three points.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Reading 1.

MIKE GILL

After the chastening experiences against Cardiff and Wednesday, the Whites entertain Jaap Stam’s Reading before another bumper crowd at Elland Road.

We are at home so it’s going to be okay. Or is it?

The one consolation about our three recent away defeats is that they all occurred under very different circumstances. Those defeats and our successes at LS11 will bear little relevance to tomorrow’s game.

It will be all about confidence. Reading have been suffering from a massive hangover after their reverse in the play-off final.

Their form away from home has been very poor with only one win at Birmingham, and Stam is feeling the pressure mounting.

So was Carlos Carvalhal last time out! But another banana skin? I think not.

Thomas Christiansen has had nearly two weeks to build his players up again and confidence should return.

A tough contest is assured with United edging it.

Prediction: Leeds United 1 Reading 0.

GARY NEWBOULD

After two successive defeats on their travels, United return to LS11 tomorrow afternoon at 3pm against Reading.

Two chastening defeats with six goals conceded have resulted in a drop from first to fifth place in the Championship.

The drop in form, allied to injuries to Pontus Jansson and Eunan O’Kane, suggest that the international break came at a good time for the Whites.

They say you learn more from defeats than victories so let’s hope head coach Thomas Christiansen has done so, and I would suggest Andy Lonergan deserves his chance between the sticks and Ronaldo Vieira should start to add some much-needed defensive steel to a midfield that was certainly mis-firing over the last two games.

Based on last season, a large crowd will have no need to bring sleeping pills if Reading continue with the turgid tactics that they employed, which to date have proved less effective with the visitors sitting just one point and two places above the relegation zone.

Prediction: Leeds United 1 Reading 0.

MATTHEW EVANS

Two weeks hasn’t really felt like long enough to come to terms with the two crushing defeats we experienced prior to the international break.

The Leeds United way, at least for the last 15 years, is for those losses to derail our season and see Thomas Christiansen sacked before the next break. With a new man installed we’ll soon be being told that we simply don’t have the players for a promotion push and that the board will have to back him in January.

This time it feels different. Whether it’s Christiansen’s belligerent belief that his ‘analysis’ can address the weaknesses we have shown on the road or Radrizzani’s apparent long-term thinking, you can be forgiven for believing that a refreshed United side will appear tomorrow and take all three points.

Reading at home was one of the most professional performances of last season and a full house will be hoping for a repeat tomorrow. We’ve been excellent at home so far this season so let’s assume that the coaching team have ironed out our issues and back United to return to winning ways.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Reading 0.

Hadi Sacko and Luke Ayling, left, battle with Reading's Joey Van Den Berg during last year's encounter at Elland Road which the hosts won 2-0. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

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