Our YEP Jury look back to Wednesday’s defeat at Wolves and ahead to today’s lunchtime date at Barnsley.
We can’t read too much into Wednesday night’s defeat at Molineux other than leaders Wolves are a very good side indeed.
Outplayed in the first half we had the glimmer of a chance when they came out slowly in the second and Gjanni Alioski pulled a goal back.
Until Ronaldo Vieira got himself sent off we were in the game but once he went it was game over.
That shouldn’t affect our approach to the Barnsley game other than perhaps to up the pressure a little to keep the points tally ticking along as much as we can.
As we know from experience, Oakwell is a tough place for any Leeds United side to go but we should also recognise they are no Wolverhampton Wanderers and at our best we should have enough to beat them particularly since their recent home record is not great; they have only won one of their last six league games at Oakwell.
Oh, and we’ll need Lady Luck on our side for a change too!
Prediction: Barnsley 0 Leeds United 2.
If Sunday was a confidence builder for United then Wednesday was a wrecking ball. We held our own for around 15 minutes in each half but, for the most part, it was men against boys.
Even when we were in the ascendency you could see that United were having to summon huge amounts of effort and concentration to achieve things that were made to look easy by this impressive Wolves side.
As we struggled to come back from two goals down, the coffin was nailed shut by the referee with a soft sending off and an even softer penalty but, in truth, the damage had already been done.
Our sloppy first-half play and Wolves’ superiority had put the game far enough out of reach even before Ronaldo Vieira saw red.
Nobody gave us much of a chance ahead of the game so we shouldn’t be too disheartened by the loss. We had very little to cheer in the away end at Molineux, something that can often be said of our trips to Oakwell. We rarely do well at Barnsley and, unfortunately, I don’t see this being an exception.
Prediction: Barnsley 2 Leeds United 1.
Not many teams will come away from Wolverhampton with many points this season, but the 4-1 defeat will be a timely reminder to Leeds fans how far, in terms of quality we are behind the team at the summit of the Championship.
Tomorrow brings the ‘away day’ most Leeds fans dread. Trips to Oakwell have not been pleasant, apart from the 2014 meeting when Leeds claimed a rare 1-0 win.
There have been notable beatings, 5-2 in 2010 and 4-1 the season after, last term the hosts claimed a 3-2 win, a late first-half equaliser was followed by two goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half and it was enough for them to claim the three points.
If Leeds have come through the trip to Wolves injury free, Thomas Christiansen may give the team that started against Boro another run out, despite the heavy midweek defeat. Stuart Dallas made the squad at Wolves and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson is now back training and both are options in midfield and left-back. Eunan O’Kane or Vurnon Anita should replace the suspended Ronaldo Vieira.
Prediction: Barnsley 1 Leeds United 2.
One of the few good things about Wednesday night’s drubbing by Wolves is that United are unlikely to meet many other teams of this quality.
Another positive was that when Gjanni Alioski fired a fine goal on 48 minutes it was just possible that United could have fought back to steal a draw. Sadly it wasn’t to be because Ronaldo Vieira received a second yellow card on the hour and Leeds had to struggle on without him for the rest of the game.
He had battled hard in the midfield taking no prisoners as usual, doing the work of two men.
Shortly afterwards, Pontus Jansson was caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, Andy Lonergan conceded a penalty and Leeds were lucky to keep the score at 4-1.
Thankfully, Barnsley are a different kettle of fish to Wolves but nobody needs to be reminded about our poor record at Oakwell.
The Whites must quickly pick themselves up, regroup and fight again. It won’t be easy but then nobody said it would be.
Prediction: Barnsley 1 Leeds United 2.
After a heavy midweek defeat at the hands of the league leaders, United make the short trip to Oakwell tomorrow lunchtime for yet another television appearance against Yorkshire rivals Barnsley.
The defeat to Wolves was even more frustrating as the Whites were back in the game at 2-1 down before an inexperienced challenge from Ronaldo Vieira turned a difficult challenge into an almost impossible one.
But rest assured, as always Barnsley will be up for the visit of United and also expect it to be cold and wet in South Yorkshire.
Commitment, bottle and organisation will all be required if we are to get anything from this game and the absence of Vieira will most likely see Eunan O’Kane restored to the starting line-up.
We probably won’t play many more talented teams like Wolves this season, however I hope that coach Thomas Christiansen is made aware that we probably won’t play many more committed teams than Barnsley as well.
Prediction: Barnsley 2 Leeds United 2.