Leeds United YEP Jury - Why Whites’ will to win should see them overcome Cardiff City

As Cardiff City prepare to visit Elland Road, our Leeds United YEP Jury look ahead to a potentially record-breaking day for the Whites, as well as reflecting on the midweek win over Hull City.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 6:15 am
BEST IN LEAGUE: Leeds United's Patrick Bamford goes clear of Reece Burke during the 2-0 win at Elland Road on Tuesday. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Have scroll down the jury’s comments below and see if you agree or not with their take on things as well as their predcitions for tomorrow’s game.

Matthew Evans

LEEDS made relatively heavy weather of Hull City on Tuesday night at Elland Road but it’ is was all about making sure we got another three points that mattered and we got them in the end.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

TOUGH TASK: Cardiff City's new manager Neil Harris. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA

Sitting top of the league and being 11 points clear of third place at this stage of the season is dreamland but, thanks to the way last season ended, we are not properly allowed to enjoy our dreams at such an early stage of the campaign.

Not to worry, we’ve got another home game to enjoy this weekend.

Cardiff City are a club we tend to struggle against but who would have ever thought that we would win three Yorkshire derbies in a row, scoring eight goals and conceding not a single goal?

We’ve got enough to extend the winning run still further before we travel to third-placed Fulham on Saturday, December 21 for what will be a serious test for us.

ON THE BENCH? Leeds United's Jack Harrison battles for the ball against Hull City's Eric Lichaj. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Things couldn’t look much rosier - which inspires nothing but worry at this point in the campaign.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Cardiff City 0.

Shaun Smith

There is something rather exquisite in Patrick Bamford not scoring.

ABLE STAND-IN: Gaetano Berardi could keep a fit-again Liam Cooper out of the starting line-up this Saturday. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

From clearing the ball off his own line to then hitting the post at the other end of the pitchwithin 14 seconds, only for his team-mate to knock in the rebound, has all the Kiplingesque, unassuming, self-sacrifice of the very best officers in the Bengal Lancers.

Or, if you prefer, it is like Lady Harriett’s diamond necklace left undisturbed but atop the case as some kind of calling card, to emphasise ‘I could have, but chose not to’, signed, simply: Bamford.

He is a class act; for me - by far the best No 9 in the Championship. In truth, Marcelo Bielsa’s entire squad is admirable. I go back to Don’s boys to find a more likeable bunch.

The ethos of irrational hard work, sacrifice and duty. There is, also, some very beautiful football. Bamford has won the hearts of Leeds fans, stolen them, battled for them. He shall have his moment of glory.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Cardiff City 0.

Keith Ingham

Leeds went from ‘the joy of six’ to ‘the magnificent seven’ after their 2-0 win over Hull City on Tuesday.

The trouble with fantastic runs by teams is that eventually they might end unexpectedly, so Saturday’s visit from Cardiff City is one to be worried about.

Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds may remain unchanged, even if captain Liam Cooper has recovered from the calf strain that has kept him sidelined for the last two games.

His deputy, Gaetano Berardi, did nothing wrong in his absence and was quite a few people’s man of the match on Tuesday.

One player who is challenging for a starting place is Gjanni Alioski, who has scored in back-to-back games and could replace Jack Harrison, who looked a little out of sorts on Tuesday.

The game marks the return of Sol Bamba and Lee Peltier, both former players who will be keen to show Leeds were unwise to let them leave.

It may be a tighter-than-usual game but I still fancy Leeds to carry on their winning run.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Cardiff City 0.

Mike Gill

As expected Hull City provided tough opposition on Tuesday night at Elland Road - tough opposition that was once again overcome by United’s sheer will to win.

It featured another wonderful breakaway goal, this time provided by the combination of Patrick Bamford and Gjianni Alioski.

But the Whites cannot expect Cardiff City to be a soft touch either.

Former players Sol Bamba and Lee Peltier both will have a point to prove and manager Neil Harris is not one of United’s greatest admirers either.

The kind of football that Harris’s teams serve up is unlikely to be much different to that of his predecessor Neil Warnock.

They will come to park the bus and pick up whatever they can on the break.

They sit in eighth place and will believe that the playoffs are more than achievable.

As for United, their winning run will have to come to an end sometime but this should not be the occasion.

Let’s hope for a record-breaking win.

Prediction: Leeds United 1 cardiff City 0.

David Watkins

Championship results this week show Leeds are the team to beat. West Brom faltered at Wigan and have also dropped points against Reading and Barnsley this season; Leeds haven’t.

Fulham, Nottingham Forest, Bristol City and Preston North End have all been proved vulnerable too.

That’s not to say Bielsa’s Leeds are perfect; we’re not. We still miss too many chances and, if the opposition can ever get enough ball off us to lift balls into our box, we do look fragile there. But we have momentum and our self-belief and fitness is carrying us to positive results even when our quality fails us.

Next up is Cardiff and, although Neil Warnock has gone, another old enemy, Neil Harris has arrived. The Bluebirds have only lost one in five but, on current form, they ought not prevent us garnering another three points.

We should continue our winning streak and, with Albion at St Andrews in the lunchtime kick-off, we should still be top come tomorrow night.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Cardiff City 1.

Andy Rhodes

With Leeds sitting pretty at the top of the Championship table we’re truly set for a white Christmas.

United have now won seven on the bounce, a run which matches that achieved around the same time last year.

Hull City put an end to that streak but this season, Leeds look to be made of far sterner stuff.

Having said that, Cardiff City have been the undoing of Leeds on recent occasions.

Marcelo Bielsa will be well aware of the Bluebirds’ aerial presence, while the likes of Junior Hoilett and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing offer pace out wide.

There’s still a few niggling injuries in the camp but the team have coped thus far, despite looking somewhat fatigued at times during the win on Tuesday night.

But in this run of 10 unbeaten games, United have faced every type of challenge including the threat of Jarrod Bowen in midweek.

This year Leeds have come of age. Here’s to keeping the run going.

Prediction: Leeds United 3 Cardiff City 1.