YEP Jury: Bristol City’s poor home form should act as a red flag for Leeds United

Our fans’ panel have their say on Leeds United’s Championship clash at Bristol City.

By Mark Absolon
Friday, 8th March 2019, 5:00 am
Leeds United's Patrick Bamford.
Leeds United's Patrick Bamford.

ANDY RHODES

Looking ahead to March a few weeks ago, it seemed like one of Leeds’ most difficult months – on paper, at least.

While they handled the month’s opening game with ease, tomorrow’s trip to Bristol City won’t be straightforward.

Bristol City manager Lee Johnson.

Under Lee Johnson, the Robins have caught the eye in the past 18 months or so, narrowly missing out on the play-offs last season. 2018/19 has continued that momentum, including going on a notable 15-game unbeaten run, sparked by defeat at Elland Road in November.

City’s home form ranks amongst the Championship’s worst, but United will need a similar display to the one against West Brom to walk away victorious. Every Leeds player turned up last week and none of them gave the Baggies an inch.

Marcelo Bielsa will hope that Patrick Bamford and Tyler Roberts can build on their performances last time out, while Pablo Hernandez’s eye for a pass will be key in breaking City down.

If Leeds win this it will be massive; we’re hurtling towards the season’s business end.

Tyler Roberts.

Prediction: Bristol City 1 Leeds United 1.

DAVID WATKINS

Every Leeds fan will hope that the weekend trip to Ashton Gate does not prove to be a case of ‘After the Lord Mayor’s Show’. That performance against West Brom took Leeds to a new level, a level that, if it can be maintained, will surely see us promoted.

Bristol City is never an easy game though and they will want to get back on track after a little wobble that has seen them lose three of their last four, including defeat in the FA Cup to Wolves.

Narrow defeats to leaders Norwich and Birmingham City could be forgiven perhaps after a run of 13 league games without defeat took them into the top six. Bristol specialise in beating mid-table teams in the Championship but, against the top five, they have played six, lost four, drawn one and won only one.

Expect Leeds to be unchanged for a fourth successive game and, with the partnership of Tyler Roberts and Patrick Bamford blooming, let’s hope for a springtime bonanza of points from Bristol and the trip to Reading next Tuesday.

Prediction: Bristol City 1 Leeds United 3.

KEITH INGHAM

After the team put me ‘in my place’ with an impressive display against West Bromwich Albion, Leeds travel to Bristol City with 11 ‘finals’ to play.

Assessing United’s remaining fixtures, it looks like there are only a couple of fixtures that you could see as definite wins, the rest Leeds will have to fight for every single point, starting at Ashton Gate.

Marcelo Bielsa is now without only a couple of his first-team squad. I’m not expecting any changes from the team that faced WBA; why would you change it when every player played so well?

Liam Cooper will become only the 12th player in the club’s history to reach 100 appearances as Leeds captain if he is selected for the game with Bristol City. A great display last weekend needs to be followed by an equal effort at Ashton Gate and, if Leeds do, another three points should be heading north.

A draw, mind you, wouldn’t be the end of the world. After tomorrow Leeds face Reading and Sheffield United and you have to be hopeful of at least five points, maybe more from the three games played in seven days.

Prediction: Bristol City 1 Leeds United 1.

MATTHEW EVANS

Bristol City away is a tough one to call after two such topsy-turvy Championship results behind us.

It has loomed as one of our trickier fixtures since the turn of the year when our opponents went on a remarkable run to fight their way into play-off contention. Their recent results haven’t quite reached the same heights.

The Monday-night draw in the Sheffield derby means that the worst-case scenario is we will be a point behind second place.

Best case and we will be top of the league, five points clear of third.

It’s the thought of those kind of margins that creates the giddy nerves accompanying each and every game at the moment. If we can at least match Sheffield United’s result tomorrow and again at Reading on Tuesday then that sets up a huge game the following Saturday lunchtime.

As for predicting the unpredictable, I’m going to hope that Bristol City continue to falter and United pick up where they left off against West Brom.

Prediction: Bristol City 1 Leeds United 3.

MIKE GILL

As the warm afterglow from the West Bromwich Albion game fades slowly, we are back to the jitters and nerves as we contemplate the trip to Bristol City.

Surely the recent heroics are a sign of ‘second wind’ arriving just in time to thrust Leeds United forward for the final quarter of the season?

City have announced a sellout crowd for tomorrow’s encounter and so it will be up to the Whites to silence the home supporters.

Lee Johnson’s men are once again punching above their weight – sitting pretty in sixth place in the Championship – and will fancy themselves to make a contest of it.

Although they are 13 points behind United, they have a real chance of making the play-offs currently standing on level points with Derby but with a game in hand.

This will be another tough challenge but it is the sort of game that Leeds should be revelling playing in.

Confidence is the key, especially for the front men – and they should have plenty of it.

Prediction: Bristol City 1 Leeds United 3.

SHAUN SMITH

At one point Bristol City seemed unbeatable; I imagined owner Stephen Lansdown had made a pact with a footballing devil in return for his soul.

But the caveat the devil insisted on was that City would conquer all on the condition that Lansdown never once spouted utter twaddle. Fatefully, he took to national radio to demand a points deduction for Leeds United over Spygate.

Thus Leeds United can go into the game at Bristol City with nothing to fear. The Whites wove magic of their own last time out, no longer apprentices to the sorcerer that is Marcelo Bielsa but casting their own spells, masters of their own destiny.

At times this season the players seemed to trust so much in the system that they waited for it to conjure a result. After QPR, they have realised it is down to them to make the plan work.

So, Leeds have nothing to fear. It is not magic, superstition or chance that has made them the best team in the league. It is hard work, application and genius. Leeds have tasted their own invincibility and it is indeed a heady brew.

Prediction: Bristol City 1 Leeds United 3.