Leeds United Jury: Whites facing a '˜massive test of character' against the Bluebirds

Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United's home match against Cardiff City.

Friday, 2nd February 2018, 4:55 am
Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock (left) and Sol Bamba.

MATTHEW EVANS

It has been a busy old period since the last jury. A couple of new additions, a bore draw with Hull City and the world’s shortest-lived football badge.

Thomas Christiansen remains under close scrutiny among United supporters and there’s no denying that we had a very poor January. Nevertheless, if you discount games where we’ve been down to 10 men (all too frequent lately) then our form reads P10 W6 D3 L1.

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Adam Forshaw.

I don’t know why, but I’m still optimistic for the season.

I think the combination of some new blood, some returning faces and a string of potential six-pointers will energise the team and the club into another run similar to those we saw earlier in the season in August and December.

If that doesn’t happen then our season will be over much to soon and, unfortunately, the club will have difficult questions from the faithful fans to answer.

Also, Cardiff City manager and ex-Whites boss, Neil Warnock, deserves to leave Elland Road with nothing.

Ezgjan Alioski avoids a challenge from Hull's Ondrej Mazuch.

Prediction: Leeds United 3 Cardiff City 2.

KEITH INGHAM

Leeds face a massive test of character tomorrow when fourth-placed Cardiff City come to Elland Road.

They have been cemented in the top-six most of the season and, unlike their Elland-Road hosts, look a play-off team at the very least.

Adam Forshaw.

Old gunslinger Neil Warnock, with his sidekick Kevin Blackwell, visit the old homestead hoping to do the ‘double’ over their ex-employers, and Sol Bamba needs no introduction and also has plenty of reasons to want to beat Leeds.

With the transfer window shut, we have what we’ve got and I’m afraid the experiment of bringing in so many foreign players has fallen on it’s derrière!

Quality was needed, quantity is what we got. A massive rethink will be needed in the summer.

And it has to involve more British players with Championship experience to have a chance of us getting promoted next season.

Ezgjan Alioski avoids a challenge from Hull's Ondrej Mazuch.

I can’t see Leeds getting anything from this game, unfortunately.

Tyler Roberts’ transfer from West Bromwich Albion was completed before the deadline. The youngster can play either up front or on the wings. Leeds definitely needed another option in the forward line.

Goalkeeper Andy Lonergan’s move to Sunderland was called off after the clubs failed to agree on a fee for the player.

Pontus Jansson is only a booking away from a two-match ban, but needs must and, hopefully, Matthew Pennington will be fit after missing the ‘Dull’ City game.

Hadi Sacko could be a option, instead of either Kemar Roofe or Gjanni Alioski. Stuart Dallas did enough in his substitute appearance for me to warrant a starting place, but not at right-back!

I’d like to be more positive but it’s hard when you look at what’s left of the squad.

Prediction: Leeds United 1 Cardiff City 3.

MIKE GILL

Unlike many of my contemporaries, I felt that the performance of our cobbled together side at Hull City was reasonable under the circumstances.

It was good to see goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald growing in confidence, and Laurens De Bock seems to have settled into the left-back spot nicely. Newcomer Adam Forshaw showed a few neat touches, but will need a bit of time to find his way into the Leeds set-up.

Tomorrow we welcome Neil Warnock and his Cardiff side, including former United defender Sol Bamba.

Warnock is like an annoying relative who invites himself to your party with the sole intention of spoiling it!

Probably the most irritating thing about him is that he was unable to share any of his considerable success when he was our manager. Cardiff are still sitting pretty in fourth with seven more points than the Whites and must start as favourites in this encounter.

Being unable to imagine how our defence is going to line up, I can’t see beyond a draw for this one.

Prediction: Leeds United 1 Cardiff City 1.

DAVID WATKINS

This weekend’s game with Cardiff sees the start of a run of games against seven of the current top 11, all of whom still harbour hopes of promotion.

Of those, Cardiff are least in form. They sit joint last in the form table with four points from 18, alongside Hull, Forest and Burton. The problem is we’ve grabbed only one more point than that from our most recent six games and we struggled against those three sides! It’s Cardiff’s away form that has let them down – they are second behind Wolves on home form – but we said that of Millwall too, and look how that panned out!

Injuries and suspensions have not dramatically weakened our starting XI – Cooper, O’Kane and Phillips have hardly ripped up the Championship this season – with the exception of Samuel Saiz whose probing runs we do miss and the ever-dependable Luke Ayling. I’m hopeful we may see an immediate start for Tyler Roberts, probably in place of Kemar Roofe, to add some potency in attack.

But, even so, I can’t see beyond another hard-fought draw at best in this one.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Cardiff City 2.