Leeds United v Wigan Athletic: YEP Jury predictions

Mirco Antenucci.

Mirco Antenucci.

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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s Boxing Day clash with Wigan Athletic.

KEITH INGHAM

Leeds United fresh from a far better team performance against Nottingham Forest welcome Wigan Athletic today.

The traditional game after a day of excess is usually one that produces a ‘feast’ on the field, too. Wigan have had problems and are currently on the crest of a slump as they travel across the border for the Roses clash.

Wigan like their hosts have been in the news for the wrong reasons, with Dave Whelan charged with making offensive remarks about certain ethnic groups, while controversial boss Malky Mackay has taken over a confidence-sapped squad that lost their their last game 2-1 at home to Rotherham United.

With the year almost over, a few scribes have had their say on 2014 and I would like to do a few “awards” of my own.

Most improved player: Stephen Warnock. He was expected to be out of the picture and rumoured to not be Massimo Cellino’s favourite, but has been so consistent this season.

Best celebration: Billy Sharp showing the Revie Stand he’s far from a “fat lad from Sheffield” in his debut game versus Middlesbrough.

Most impressive signing: A little hard this as several of the players brought in by Massimo Cellino have impressed.

Silvestri has been an impressive keeper, although a couple of mistakes have cost points, while Mirco Antenucci’s goals have made the fans forget a little that Luciano Becchio was never really replaced.

Giuseppi Bellusci, is sometimes a maverick centre-half but who can ever forget his free-kick versus Bournemouth or his run against Huddersfield this season. Brazilian Adyran, although young, has certainly showed glimpses of quality to get a mention as does Souleymane Doukara, but my choice is Antenucci.

Game of the year: Huddersfield Town at home after the crazy Deadline Day last season. Pure emotion brought the team and fans together in the 5-1 rout of our near neighbours.

Youngster of the year: Lewis Cook, who proved if you’re good enough, you’re old enough to be in the the thick of a competitive Championship. Alex Mowatt has also impressed.

Surprise team of the year: Bournemouth, top for a reason. Impressive manager.

Loyalty award: Most of the people reading this article because year after year they never fail to amaze me with their support of this club.

Prediction: Back to the game and Leeds to hopefully finish the year with a much needed win. Leeds United 3 Wigan Athletic 1.

GARY NEWBOULD

After the mince pies and turkey it’s Wigan Athletic who head to Elland Road this afternoon.

The Latics, now under the stewardship of Malky Mackay lie one place off the foot of the Sky Bet Championship and arrive at LS11 without a win in almost two months, having lost four of their last five matches with their new manager at the helm.

If fit, Billy Sharp will be likely to partner Mirco Antennuci up front in a game United simply must win.

Last Saturday’s point will only be recognised as a good point if we can back up the display with three points this afternoon.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Wigan Athletic 1.

STEPHEN CLARK

The busy Christmas period continues today with the most vital of the festive fixtures as Leeds entertain Wigan Athletic.

The Latics were expected to be serious challengers for automatic promotion after missing out in the play-offs last term, but so far they have had a disastrous season, with Uwe Rosler paying for the poor start with his job.

Malky Mackay has fared no better, collecting just one point in his five games in charge, and Wigan appear to be there for the taking.

Buoyed by a decent point at Forest on Saturday, Leeds will be hoping for a comprehensive win to move away from the relegation zone, particularly with a trip to Derby on the horizon.

I can see the Christmas cheer continuing with a victory.

Prediction: Leeds United 3 Wigan Athletic 0.

MATTHEW EVANS

We need to bounce back from our previous home defeat to Fulham and we can’t rely on riding our luck.

I’d like to see Neil Redfearn shuffle the pack slightly. Brian Montenegro picked up two goals in the development team.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Wigan Athletic 1.

JAMES HARRISON

The game against Wigan is a must-win. They are in the relegation zone and we desperately need three points.

It was a good point at Forest and something to build on heading into this hectic schedule. I can’t see many changes being made for the game; Billy Sharp has got to play and I don’t think Redfearn will drop Antenucci. I can’t see us getting anything against Derby so we have got to beat Wigan.

They haven’t won since Malky Mackay took over and are coming into the game fired up after falling to a 2-1 home defeat by Rotherham last week.

Let’s hope the players are fresh and prepared for the next few games.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Wigan Athletic 1.

JONATHAN FORD

For the first time in five years, a home game on Boxing Day, and although no games are easy, I would expect us to be more than capable of beating Wigan. If we start right and keep it going, I can only see us winning and for various reasons we definitely need one!

Prediction: Leeds United 3 Wigan Athletic 1.

Garry Monk.

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