Rochdale v Leeds United: YEP jury predictions

Chris Dawson.

Chris Dawson.

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WE have a welcome break from Championship action this weekend as we travel to Rochdale in the third round of the FA Cup and as the results over the Christmas and new year period have been unacceptable, this is a nice distraction.

KEITH INGHAM

After a really poor result-wise festive period with only two points from 12, Leeds travel to Rochdale tomorrow in the FA Cup hoping to return to winning ways.

Opinions among fans to date include: The 3-5-2 or 5-3-2 has run its course as other teams know how we play. There’s no Plan B if we are struggling against opponents. Why has El-Hadji Diouf been out of the team for so many reasons and still be on a great deal of money? Many players are playing even though they are not performing. Ross McCormack is clearly struggling with the way the Leeds are playing.

That is only a small selection of the comments that followed a really shocking first half against a well-organised but not spectacular Blackburn side. The way Tom Cairney – the loanee from Hull and ex-Leeds trainee – ran the game was particularly annoying as the Leeds players were guilty of giving the ball away far too often. Rudy Austin, in particular, had a dreadful first half, he improved in the second but if he’s honest has been ‘off the pace’ for a few games. Leeds did play better second half but apart from Alex Mowatt’s shot that shook the bar, Simon Eastwood was hardly troubled.

With the FA Cup not high on the priorities I suggest the manager try a bold move by changing the formation and indeed the players for the game. Here is the side I would pick Cairns, Peltier, Wootton, Zaliukas, Warnock Byram, Tonge, Brown, Ariyibi Poloen, Varney.

It’s an adventurous move but tired legs could benefit from the week’s rest and come back fresh for the Championship. The players I’ve mentioned would also surely benefit from some proper game time. The rested players could be on the bench to use if things are not going well. It would also be good to see youngster Chris Dawson amongst the substitutes.

I think the conversations Brian McDermott is having with certain players needs to be turned into action or, before we know it, the top six may well become a distant memory and we could face a fight at the other end of the division. The difference between failure and success is marginal and if the board or takeover is not forthcoming the coming months could become worrying for the fans.

Back to the Cup and whatever changes are made we should have enough to beat a team two divisions below us. That said, it won’t be an easy game.

Prediction: Rochdale 1 Leeds United 2.

ELLIOT BRANSBY

WE have a welcome break from Championship action this weekend as we travel to Rochdale in the third round of the FA Cup and as the results over the Christmas and new year period have been unacceptable, this is a nice distraction.

Rochdale are managed by Keith Hill, enjoying his second spell at the club after being sacked from Barnsley in December 2012.

They are doing well in League Two, currently sitting in fifth spot in the table and they also have one of the league’s top scorers in Scott Hogan who will be a major threat from midfield, so United will certainly need to be on their mettle at Spotland tomorrow.

Changes will be made for the trip to Lancashire to give some of the first team a rest and the fringe players can come in to impress the gaffer especially with the transfer window open as everyone will be fighting for their places and wanting to banish memories of our festive matches.

Prediction: Rochdale 1 Leeds United 3.

JONATHAN FORD

I love a good cup run but I also know that we haven’t got the legs to play a strong team and I would fully expect changes to be made.

I love watching a good FA Cup tie and I think this will be a tight game because of the changes we will make.

prediction: Rochdale 0, Leeds United 2.

STEPHEN CLARK

After a disappointing Christmas period, Leeds United will be hoping to use the FA Cup trip to Rochdale as a catalyst to re-ignite their campaign.

Brian McDermott will hope to have new faces to add depth to a squad which has been showing its limitations over the hectic schedule. The manager should also take this chance to use fringe players to allow his more influential players the rest they so clearly require.

I expect to see the likes of Scott Wootton, Paul Green, Adam Drury and Dominic Poleon feature in the starting line up. However the Whites cannot take Rochdale too lightly as they sit comfortably in the League Two play-off places.

PREDICTION: Rochdale 1 Leeds United 3.

GARY NEWBOULD

With the Whites current poor run of form and former Barnsley manager Keith Hill in charge of Dale this is a game that must not be taken too lightly. It’s time for some players to play for their places with several incoming names hopefully arriving soon.

Prediction: Rochdale 1 Leeds United 2.

MICHAEL HEMSWORTH

After a bitterly disappointing festive fortnight, Leeds take a much-needed break from league action and head to Spotland for this FA Cup tie.

It will be a chance for the fringe players to stake a claim, with Scott Wootton, Gboly Ariyibi and Stephen Warnock among those likely to get a run out.

Paddy Kenny’s injury left him unable to take goal kicks against Blackburn so we may see a full debut for Alex Cairns at Rochdale. Leeds will do well to overcome a potential banana skin at Spotland as an impressive home record including nine wins sees Rochdale sitting pretty in fifth place in League Two.

prediction: Rochdale 1, Leeds United 2.

Garry Monk.

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