Leeds United Jury Predictions: Leeds have no mountain to climb at The Valley

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Fresh from ‘pie-taxgate’ and a thoroughly deserved victory over Hull City, United take on Charlton Athletic on Saturday afternoon at 3pm.

The Whites will be hoping for a much-improved performance than their last visit to the capital. It’s been far from a happy Valley for the Robins and their Belgium owners this season and seven defeats in their last 10 matches have seen the south-east Londoners drop into the Championship relegation zone.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

The corresponding fixture last season saw the alleged mutiny with several players apparently refusing to play for former coach Neil Redfearn. This time out, injuries permitting, a couple of positive selection headaches await Whites coach Steve Evans, one of which will be whether to bring back captain Sol Bamba if he recovers in time from his toe injury, probably at the expense of Giuseppe Bellusci. The other will be to decide whether Gaetano Berardi returns from completing his suspension straight away, with the likelihood that Scott Wooton will make way for the Swiss full-back.

No matter what personnel is chosen for the fixture it is highly likely that the 4-5-1 formation which provided United with so much possession and defensive protection against the Tigers will remain, with Chris Wood the lone striker and Mirco Antenucci likely to start on the bench. While United were registering a rare home victory seven days ago, last time out Charlton were two goals up against the unbeaten league leaders Brighton, only to surrender all three points as a result of three late goals.

So confidence is likely to play a key factor for two inconsistent teams and without doubt the first goal of the game is likely to prove a crucial factor.

As the busy festive period approaches this is a pivotal part of the season for the Whites, who currently lie seven points short of the play-off places and six points away from the relegation zone. By the end of the Christmas and New Year programme we should have far greater clarity as to whether we shall be looking upwards or downwards throughout the second half of the season.

Neither side can be considered to be draw specialists and on this occasion I’m expecting the Whites to register a second successive victory and hopefully edge towards some form of mid-table security.

Prediction: Charlton Athletic 1 Leeds United 2.

GARY NEWBOULD

It’s very strange when a week passes and there is not a comment from the owner. Maybe the unexpected win over Hull City has put the Italian in a good mood.

Leeds will hope to continue their winning ways with a trip to London to visit Charlton Athletic.

The South London club has not had the best of seasons with only four wins so far this season and are currently in the bottom three in the Championship.

They were leading 2-0 at league leaders Brighton with only five minutes played but conceded three, two in the last 10 to lose the game. Karel Fraeye is their manager. He was assistant to Jose Riga before accepting the manager’s job after he had returned to Belgium for a season with Vigor Wuitens Hamme. And Ademola Lookman is a player Leeds defenders need to be wary of.

Steve Evans has a couple of selection decisions to make on Saturday. Gaetano Berardi is back from suspension and club captain Sol Bamba recovered from injury. Scott Wootton and Giuseppe Bellusci are players whose places are under treat.

Evans may decide to stick with the same side that performed so well versus Hull.

A tough few games await Leeds, so a win in south London would be very welcome. It will be a tight game and I see Leeds just edging it.

Prediction: Charlton Athletic 1 Leeds United 2.

KEITH INGHAM

Trying to predict how Leeds will do is making me look a little foolish. I was certain Hull would continue our misery, yet we produced our most convincing home performance of the season so they might shoot themselves in the foottomorrow!

Prediction: Charlton Athletic 0 Leeds United 2.

STEPHEN CLARK

Last time out Leeds once again made mugs out of most of us by winning a game few thought we had any chance in.

This week we travel to The Valley to play a Charlton side in complete disarray and so recent logic says we will get beat!

It is a ground where we have a decent record having won six of the last 10, although having said that Charlton have won three of the last four. Our win in 2013/14 was the famous 4-2 in which a certain Ross McCormack got all four on a mud patch of a pitch. The Charlton pitch is much better these days and my guess is it should help us if we can continue to play on the deck as we did in that excellent first half against Hull.

Prediction: Charlton Athletic 2 Leeds United 2.

DAVID WATKINS

Saturday is a great chance to take another step towards the play-offs. Charlton are desperate for a win so it’ll be a tricky game. We have some big players coming back and with Liam Bridcutt a game stronger, I’m confident we’ll get three points.

Prediction: Charlton Athletic 0 Leeds United 2.

JAMES HARRISON

If anything sums up how far Leeds United have fallen it’s that a home win against Hull City came as a shock.

It makes predicting tomorrow’s game almost impossible; will we push on with a convincing win like at Huddersfield or fail to turn up like at QPR? Logic says that United should get some sort of result at The Valley. Not only do we travel on the back of an improved performance but our away form has been marginally better and Charlton are struggling. Gaetano Berardi being back is a boost; he and Charlie Taylor have had great individual seasons so far and will be reunited in the same team for the first time since the beginning of October. I’m hedging my bets.

Prediction: Charlton Athletic 1 Leeds United 1.

MATTHEW EVANS

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