Leeds United: Whites wary of being stung by the Bees

Brentford's Scott Hogan (right).

Brentford's Scott Hogan (right).

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ONLY two Championship rivals have a better record than Leeds United over the last 15 games.

There are no prizes for guessing who, but clashes with Brighton and Newcastle United are done with until the spring.

Now, though, the statistics are firmly in Leeds United’s favour as sixth plays 14th for Saturday’s Elland-Road clash with Brentford.

After six wins from their last eight league games at Elland Road, Garry Monk’s Whites are no bigger than 6-5 favourites to sting a Bees side who are seven points off the play-offs.

Leeds head coach Garry Monk, though, will not be taking Brentford lightly, insisting Dean Smith’s side carry a big threat in search of three consecutive wins.

Only two Championship teams have a better record than sixth-placed Leeds over the last 15 fixtures with Tuesday night’s 2-0 win at home to third-placed Reading making it 31 points from a last possible 45.

Only second-placed Brighton and leaders Newcastle can better that tally with 37 and 34 points respectively, form that has given the top two an eight-point cushion over the chasing pack.

Leeds, backed by a fine recent record at Elland Road, are now firm favourites to take another step forward this weekend after seeing off the Championship’s third-placed team on Tuesday with relative ease.

The Whites are, not surprisingly, strong favourites with the country’s bookmakers, with Brentford as big as 13-5.

But Monk is aware that Saturday’s visitors themselves look to be improving following two quick successive wins, and there will no complacency whatsoever this weekend on behalf of Leeds United’s head coach.

Brentford sit seven points behind Leeds but Saturday’s 2-1 win at home to Burton Albion was followed by a 1-0 success on Tuesday night at Bristol City where Leeds themselves lost 1-0 at the end of September.

Monk warned: “They have got back-to-back wins and if we don’t show the same level of motivation and focus that we did in the game on Tuesday against Reading then we can come unstuck.

“We have to be ready, we have to be focused, and like we have talked about before – the atmosphere at Elland Road – we have to use that to our advantage like we have been doing and really go there and try and fight as hard as possible to get those three points.

“We know if we can put our best football on the pitch, with that right motivation we can always put ourselves in an opportunity to win a game.”

With 13 goals already this term, Scott Hogan offers Brentford’s most natural threat to win the game, with the striker’s tally equal to Brighton sharp-shooter Glen Murray’s efforts and bettered only by Newcastle’s Dwight Gayle with 16.

“They are a good side,” warned Monk. “They are energetic and they play good football. They have threats as well so we have to impose ourselves on them as much as possible which is important.

“We will have a plan going into that game.

“And we know that when we follow it and put it to a level that we can do that we can do very well.”

Jordan Rhodes and Sheffield Wednesday are the visitors to Elland Road on Saturday.

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