Leeds United: To frustrate Newcastle United, aim to upset uppity Jonjo Shelvey - Ritchie

Leeds United have got to be hugely confident against Newcastle United tomorrow after that win at Norwich.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 19th November 2016, 6:53 am
Updated Monday, 21st November 2016, 12:27 pm
Newcastle United's Dwight Gayle celebrates his second goal against Barnsley with Matt Ritchie and Jonjo Shelvey. (Picture: Richard Sellers/PA Wire)
Newcastle United's Dwight Gayle celebrates his second goal against Barnsley with Matt Ritchie and Jonjo Shelvey. (Picture: Richard Sellers/PA Wire)

Norwich are up there, they are one of the teams tipped to go up and that victory should give Leeds a real good slice of confidence going into a game against a team who are really playing well.

Newcastle are at the top of their game at the minute but so are Leeds. No-one in the camp is going overboard but they are playing very well right now.

Newcastle know all about big crowds – especially at their own ground where they enjoy a partisan following.

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Their fans also travel in their thousands but I think they will certainly know about it when they get to Elland Road.

For a sell-out game like this, the Leeds fans will make some noise and will be really up for it, as they are always are.

The arrival of Newcastle and the way that they have taken the Championship by storm adds spice to the encounter.

Leeds are on a real high after the way they have come into form. They are looking strong and determined and are hard to beat at the moment. I think the crowd will really make an extra effort to back them... if any extra effort is needed.

While it is good to see the name of Leeds United in the play-off positions, I think it is a little bit early to be thinking about them winning promotion just yet.

That is not to say the club will not be very pleased with the progress made, as will head coach Garry Monk.

He will be satisfied with the way the players have taken to what he wants to do and I feel as though they are playing with a bit of a swagger.

Leeds feel and look confident and they look stronger at the back.

I know that they leaked two goals against Norwich but they managed to put them in at the other end.

They will know tomorrow that they have got one of the most potent attacking forces against them – in fact, the most potent force in the league in front of goal.

They have got the lad Dwight Gayle who is firing and Leeds have got a big task on as they will know. I think Garry will probably know a bit more about his own side after the visit of Newcastle.

Jonjo Shelvey is available to play for Newcastle and he is an influential player. He has played for England and is a player who, if you give him time and space, will hurt you. He’s a very good player at hurting you but, also, he can be a little bit uppity.

You can get at him, you can niggle him a little bit and I’m not by any stretch of the imagination saying that those might be tactics used by Leeds at the weekend!

But he is a class player and he has been at one of the top clubs in the world in Liverpool.

He knows what it’s about and if they let him play he can be very influential and that’s one of the areas I would have thought where Garry will be saying: ‘we have to really compete there, we have to upset them and we have to make sure they don’t get into any rhythm and then, hopefully, we can go on and play our game as well.’

Leeds shouldn’t have any fears about the game with the way they are playing, definitely not.

If Eunan O’Kane is out injured for Leeds then we might be looking at two youngsters in Kalvin Phillips and Ronaldo Vieira in midfield.

It will be a little bit of a setback if O’Kane isn’t there. He’s one of those who pops up everywhere and I have been very impressed with his energy and what he has done for the team.

People may not have gone ‘wow, he was man of the match’ but there are times when he probably was in terms of what he did in when you look at the energy that he put in and the ground that he covered.

But lads like Vieira and Phillips have got to come of age and they wouldn’t be in the first-team squad if they didn’t think they had a chance.

If they are in there then they’ve got to do a job, they have got to come of age and they have got to in there and keep their heads.

They know it will be a hot atmosphere and let’s face it, most of the players that will be in that Leeds team won’t have played in front of a crowd like that before.

It’s going to a tester for everybody but I certainly think they will rise to the occasion.