Leeds United v Brentford: YEP Jury give their verdicts

Liam Cooper and Lewis Cook.

Liam Cooper and Lewis Cook.

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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s home clash with play-off chasing Brentford.

JONATHAN FORD

It seems like a whole month since we lost a league game, actually that’s a reality! We have had some luck, but we haven’t had any luck all season so, who cares!

We look so much more balanced with the way we play than we did six weeks ago, and heading into a month with some very tough games, two long midweek trips and a lunchtime date with one of the best teams in the league, we will need some luck.

But let’s keep any momentum going tomorrow against Brentford, who are a very good team.

They don’t have spectacular players but they all would throw themselves under a bus for each other and they were unlucky not to beat Middlesbrough last week.

That said, we are on the up and we have more than enough in the tank to get the win.

We have that belief now which is fantastic.

I think the January signing of Sol Bamba is pivotal.

He has the quality to see a game out and be able to keep calm in desperate situations without being a liability with cards. He and Liam Cooper need time to form a partnership.

Cooper is in possession of the captain’s armband and looks like he has taken to it like a fish to water, but Bamba looks like he means business and maybe long-term, those two as captain and vice-captain might be the way forward.

Last week it was nice to see Billy Sharp back in the goals and nice to see the players celebrate with the fans.

It is the first time in a long while that the fans and players have connected and it felt really good!

One thing that pleases me is how Luke Murphy has come back. He looks a different player; the player we signed 18 months ago is now showing why we bought him. But having someone like Lewis Cook there has got to help.

On to tomorrow’s game against the Bees and I would expect the line-up to be the same as last week, if injuries don’t stop that, with maybe Grandi N’Goyi to be a part of the squad. Perhaps the only change I would make is Sharp coming in to start for Rodolph Austin.

Steve Morison just needs a goal. He has put the graft in and has won the fans back round, and he looks like he is actually enjoying himself. Keep it going.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Brentford 1

KEITH INGHAM

The January transfer window closed with three new recruits added to the squad, Edgar Cani being the latest to be brought in on loan.

But more important was keeping the young players that are the future of the club.

For me, it was vital that Byram, Mowatt, Taylor and Cook were kept at Leeds. Equally important was keeping Rudy Austin, who has been in fine form since the turn of the year. He now is the last player left within the club brought in by Neil Warnock.

Leeds have improved immeasurably since the turn of the year and are still unbeaten in the Championship in 2015. That will be put to the test tomorrow as Brentford visit Elland Road. The promoted side have been successful and sit within the play-off places. Their road trips have brought seven wins, a draw and six defeats. Top scorer Andre Gray is one player the Leeds defence need to be wary of.

The return of Bellusci from suspension should not alter the centre-back pairing of new recruit Sol Bamba and Liam Cooper. With Leeds performing well it is hard to see any changes to the team but Billy Sharp proved last weekend that he’s well worth a starting place. New recruit Cani could get a place on the bench.

Despite the improved performances the Championship table doesn’t lie and another victory is needed to push Leeds nearer safety.

I think we’ll win but I expect another tight encounter.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Brentford 1

STEPHEN CLARK

When the fixtures were announced at the start of the season, there would have been plenty of people seeing this as a clash between a side gunning for the play-offs and one battling against relegation. However only the most optimistic Brentford fan and pessimistic Leeds fan would have had the Bees in the top six and the Whites in the bottom six.

Leeds come into the game on the back of a four-match unbeaten run, as they did in the reverse fixture back in September.

However, Neil Redfearn was not rewarded with a manager of the month nomination back then, instead he saw his job handed to Darko Milanic, and a long winless run began.

Brentford won that match comfortably, with former United midfielder Jonathan Douglas pulling the strings for the Londoners. They lost last time out against Middlesbrough and will be looking to get their play-off push back on the road.

But I have a renewed sense of optimism and I think Leeds will pick up another vital three points.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Brentford 1

MATTHEW EVANS

Unbeaten in the league since the turn of the year things are feeling a whole lot better at Elland Road. Neil Redfearn missed the reverse fixture as he had just been moved aside in favour of Darko Milanic. Six games later he was back in the dugout.Confidence is higher than at any point since then and underlined by the hardwork and tenacity of the players.

Turning a gritty performance against Huddersfield into three points felt like a huge step forward. I’m confident a win against Brentford will be another.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Brentford 0

JAMES HARRISON

After a terrific result at Huddersfield last week, I am glad we can come back to Elland Road and play in front of our fans full of confidence.

Everyone at the club is buzzing and I am confident our recent run of good from can continue against Brentford.

The Bees have been brilliant in their debut Championship season and are one of the most feared sides in the league.

They beat us comfortably earlier in the season in Darko Milanic’s first game in charge but a lot has changed since then from our side.

I think that Billy Sharp has proved he deserves to get a good run in the side, but I am not sure who he would replace at the moment!

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Brentford 0

GARY NEWBOULD

Fresh from two wins on the bounce and eight points from their last four games United entertain Brentford tomorrow. Following promotion the Bees have had an excellent season and currently occupy one of the play-off positions and they possess serious attacking intent which will be a stern test for a resurgent United. There should be plenty of goals and I’m expecting a share of the spoils.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Brentford 2