Sunderland v Leeds United: YEP Jury predictions

Conor Shaughnessy.
Conor Shaughnessy.
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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s trip to Sunderland tomorrow.

DAVID WATKINS

Leeds United head coach Thomas Christiansen.

Leeds United head coach Thomas Christiansen.

The draw against Fulham has left us still wondering how good are Leeds this season?

Undefeated in three is nothing to be ashamed about and in fact our points haul is better than that of the more fancied Cottagers who have drawn all three of their games.

Yet it could have been so much better, against 10 men last Saturday we had chances but missed them and for spells of the Fulham game we dominated but again missed chances or, when we did ‘score’, we fell foul of a questionable offside flag.

We are either suffering from poor technique or plain bad luck!

Sunderland will provide yet another stern test having also got through the first three unbeaten and against three decent outfits in Derby County, Norwich City and Sheffield Wednesday.

A win for Leeds would be a fabulous result that could be the confidence boost we need to confirm our credentials but I think another draw is more likely.

Prediction: Sunderland 1 Leeds United 1.

MATTHEW EVANS

Nobody expected 180 minutes of goalless football to open the Elland Road league campaign but at least, in Fulham, United found a tougher opponent and lifted their game accordingly.

A draw was a fair result but United could have easily snatched a win in an improved showing where the likes of Luke Ayling, Conor Shaughnessy, Pablo Hernandez and Samuel Saiz all shone and, on a different day, Chris Wood could have had a hat-trick.

The trip to the Stadium of Light tomorrow will present yet another type of challenge but United should see little to fear from Sunderland’s early outings.

Thomas Christiansen needs to decide which of his wingers carry the most threat and ensure that central midfield, an area where we are blessed with talent, is firing on all cylinders at all times.

If he can find the right formula then there’s no reason why tomorrow can’t bring our second away win of the season.

Prediction: Sunderland 1 Leeds United 2.

KEITH INGHAM

Fulham became the latest team to frustrate Leeds after a good as a game you could ask for, considering the scoreline again finished goalless.

Sought-after striker Chris Wood was guilty of passing up a perfect opportunity, but also had a ‘goal’ disallowed even though the replays showed the Leeds man was onside.

With two games ending scoreless maybe it’s time to try something different against Sunderland, a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 to give Wood more support and it seems a perfect opportunity to restore Liam Bridcutt into the side as the midfield anchor man.

I’ll admit it he hasn’t ‘torn up trees’ but he’s got a point to prove against the Wearsiders. If Liam Cooper is unfit the young central midfielder, now centre-back Conor Shaughnessy showed he can do a decent job if needed and at the moment he is!

Simon Grayson’s men look like they may have turned the corner with a win at Norwich City and a draw at Sheffield Wednesday. I’d love to see Leeds beat their old rivals, but a point might be all we return to Yorkshire with.

Prediction: Sunderland 1 Leeds United 1.

MIKE GILL

After whacking in seven goals against BoltonWanderers and Port Vale, who would have predicted that the next two home games would be goalless draws?

Thankfully the encounter against Fulham was much more entertaining than the Preston match and in fact was one of the best goalless matches seen at Elland Road in recent years.

Chris Wood was very unlucky with one effort being unfairly judged offside and another unsuccessful one-on-one saved by a nervous looking David Button.

The early expectation of an attacking approach and more goals this season remains in place.

The goals will come and not just from Wood.

Tomorrow United travel to Simon Grayson’s Sunderland and although it is too early to judge this season’s form, it is safe to assume that the Wearsiders will be looking to push on following their 1-1 at Sheffield Wednesday in midweek. I’m predicting a narrow Leeds victory at the Stadium of Light.

Prediction: Sunderland 1 Leeds United 2.

GARY NEWBOULD

After another home goalless draw, but a much-improved performance, United travel to the Stadium of Light to take on Sunderland tomorrow evening, once again in front of the television cameras.

Despite being only three league games into his tenure as coach at LS11, Thomas Christiansen is rapidly waking up to the challenging realities of Championship football, where every point is earned by hard graft and the only consistent factor is the inconsistency of the runners and riders.

A much-changed line-up on Tuesday provided opportunities for several players and in particular Conor Shaughnessy, Samuel Saiz and Vernon Anita gave the coach plenty of food for thought. Former United manager Simon Grayson is now at the helm on Wearside and following Wednesday evening’s 1-1 draw at Hillsborough, Sunderland are one place above United on goal difference.

Games against Sunderland are always “blood and thunder” affairs and I’m expecting nothing different tomorrow evening.

Prediction: Sunderland 1 Leeds United 1.

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