Rotherham United v Leeds United: YEP Jury predictions

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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s Yorkshire derby at Rotherham United.

DAVID WATKINS

Danny Ward.

Danny Ward.

Newcastle is done and gone, let’s move on. Suffice to say it was just not our day. We didn’t get the rub of the green or even the Rob Green and the Toon got off scot-free from referee Graham Scott.

The one effect of the narrow defeat to the Toon though is that we will be looking even more closely at how we deal with the Millers. The Toon are top while Rotherham are rock bottom and already well adrift of the rest.

If this season is to bring us great rewards we have to be beating the likes of Kenny Jackett’s new charges. Jackett is yet to see his new side win, indeed, Rotherham have won only one game all season, a 1-0 victory over Brentford way back in August.

They have lost nine of their last 10, with just a solitary 2-2 draw at Ipswich breaking that sequence.

Anything but a convincing Leeds win will have the doubters out in force again.

A full strength Leeds side would be more than capable of doing the job, but we already know we will be without two crucial players; Pablo Hernandez, who is out for two to three weeks, and Pontus Jansson who is suspended.

Rotherham’s problem has had more to do with conceding than scoring; they have only scored two fewer than Leeds. Hence I’m more concerned about Pontus not being there to keep them out than I am about us finding a way through their porous defence. It is not that they lack dangerous strikers either – both Danny Ward and 
Peter Odemwingie are more than capable of scoring.

Ward has eight goals for the season already. Odemwingie was Jackett’s first signing and being on a short-term deal has plenty to prove; he wears 13 so let’s hope that’s not unlucky for us.

And then there is that “cup final” factor! We all know how other Yorkshire sides get fired up when they play Leeds.

In the league we have not beaten them in our previous six encounters; not since 1982 in fact have we won on their patch and we’ve never won at the New York Stadium.

I also wonder if our lads will have half an eye on that trip to Anfield next Tuesday. So expect another titanic battle but I think we can edge it.

Prediction: Rotherham United 2 Leeds United 3.

KEITH INGHAM

After the disappointment of Sunday’s defeat at the hands of the champions elect, Leeds are set off for a tea-time kick-off at bottom club Rotherham United tomorrow.

After watching a re-run of the previous game I’m not so disappointed as I was, we matched Newcastle in parts of the game and only a bad mistake and a poor refereeing decision cost us dearly.

That’s behind us now and tomorrow presents Leeds with a great chance to get another run going. The main source of conversation is whether or not to change the team for the trip to the New York Stadium, Robert Green’s place being the main subject of discussion.

Before Sunday I thought the ex-England man had done enough, before his calamitous mistake – but a few more like it and Garry Monk may decide to give Marco Silvestri a run in the team.

With Pablo Hernandez absent it may also be time to give either Antonsson or Kemar Roofe a opportunity in the ‘number 10’ position. Kalvin Phillips didn’t excel in the role last time out. Liam Cooper should come in for the suspended Pontus Jansson. Hadi Sacko and Stuart Dallas are other options for the wide positions.

Rotherham may be bottom, but form goes out of the window in these games but I still expect a Leeds victory and a place back in the top six.

Prediction: Rotherham United 1 Leeds United 3.

STEPHEN CLARK

There is a danger that the trip to Rotherham could be seen as a case of being after the Lord Mayor’s Show following the visit of Newcastle United, but the result of this game is of far more importance for Leeds United.

The Whites have a terrible record against the Millers and that simply has to be put right tomorrow evening if Leeds have any real pretensions at being promotion contenders.

The depth of the Leeds squad will be tested for this one as Pablo Hernandez is injured and Pontus Jansson will be absent for one game due to his one game suspension.

Whilst Liam Cooper is the obvious replacement for the Swedish cult hero, the question of who will step into the creative boots of Hernandez is the bigger question. I would like to see Kemar Roofe given a chance to play just behind the striker, with Stuart Dallas and Hadi Sacko on the flanks. Whoever Garry Monk selects though should be good enough to finally end the Rotherham hoodoo.

Prediction: Rotherham United 0 Leeds United 2.

GARY NEWBOULD

Following last weekend’s defeat to the league leaders, United take on the Championship’s bottom side Rotherham United tomorrow evening. The New York Stadium has been far from a happy hunting ground for the Whites since The Millers moved from the less salubrious Milmoor residence and it’s about time that record was set straight. Talismanic centre-back Pontus Jansson will be missing due to suspension so Liam Cooper is likely to be presented with a rare opportunity to impress. It’s normally a tough battle against any team managed by Kenny Jackett but I’m expecting the Whites to bounce back here.

Prediction: Rotherham United 1 Leeds United 2.

MATTHEW EVANS

United’s results on the back of international breaks have been disappointing all season. One-nil defeats to Huddersfield and Derby were followed by last weekend’s loss at home to Newcastle. Happily, the trend has so far seen us then go on to climb the table following a sharp upturn in results.

It’ll be that formula that the team are looking to follow at teatime on Saturday with a game that any play-off contender would hope to win. Pontus Jansson’s absence will be noticeable but former captain Liam Cooper is a great player to have in reserve.

Leeds should have enough for the win to put us back in winning ways ahead of two very tough fixtures next week.

Prediction: Rotherham United 1 Leeds United 2.

MIKE GILL

After Sunday’s creditable performance but disappointing result against Newcastle, a win is the only acceptable outcome at Rotherham. Anything less will make the next three Championship fixtures look even more formidable than they do already. With Jansson and Hernandez joining Bridcutt on the missing list, a win against the Millers should not be seen as a formality. Nevertheless, I expect Garry Monk to galvanise his side to produce the desired result.

Prediction: Rotherham United 0 Leeds United 2.

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy at Elland Road on Saturday. Picture by Simon Hulme

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