YEP Jury: A current of unease is creeping into Leeds United fans' collective psyche
Our fans' panel have their say on Leeds United's current goal scoring problems and look ahead to tomorrow lunchtime's derby at Sheffield Wednesday and give their big match predictions..
This club has the ability to bring out the pessimist within me like nothing else.
Okay, so we might be one point better off than at the same stage last season, but something just seems missing. Is it a clinical striker? Possibly. After all, it’s been two months since Patrick Bamford last scored.
From the stands on Tuesday, the vocal support for Eddie Nketiah was clear. However, so were the chants for Bamford. Sooner or later you suspect that the tide will turn and the Arsenal loanee will get his chance.
Similar to last season, Leeds are once again missing key players. Liam Cooper, Pablo Hernandez, Adam Forshaw and Jamie Shackleton have all been out recently, but the number of injuries seems to feel downplayed this time around.
Another Yorkshire derby offers Leeds the chance to build some form and silence their doubters after two points were dropped in midweek.
If Leeds do get the win then many problems may disappear. If not, then we may feel a sense of déjà vu.
Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday 2 Leeds United 0.
The fact that some fans are beginning to question Marcelo Bielsa’s decisions highlights how far we have come under his leadership.
Sitting in second spot in the Championship table having been in a position to get something from every game so far, rumblings rumble on because of the fact we have lost a few and drawn at Preston.
We have moved from hopes of the play-offs to expectation of automatic promotion.
Rather than gratitude to the Argentine maestro there is grumbling that we are not walking the league.
Eddie Nketiah is the obvious quick fix for many, until it turns out he isn’t.
Scoring his equaliser at Preston was not a great substitution but confirmation of Bielsa’s folly of not starting him.
Fans are fickle. A bad result against Sheffield Wednesday and Bielsa’s canonisation will be rescinded.
A win with a Patrick Bamford brace and people will reserve the right to grumble for another day.
Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday 0 Leeds United 2.
Predicting a Leeds game these days is almost impossible; we know we’ll dominate and we’ll create a boat-load of chances … but we have no idea if any will go in!
On the face of it, we ought to be hammering sides every week, so dominant are we, and yet, for the last eight Championship games we’ve failed to score more than a single goal on all bar one occasion.
Add to that the fact we are susceptible to a breakaway goal, and that’s what’s making winning games a problem.
Thankfully, Eddie Nketiah got the call on Tuesday and, within minutes showed us what we are missing, a goal poacher. But, at the time of writing, we don’t know whether Marcelo Bielsa will start Eddie tomorrow and we don’t know if that will solve the problem anyway.
Wednesday will be well prepared under Garry Monk and fired up for a Yorkshire rival.
They’re in good form too, only one point and one place behind Leeds and, since I’m not convinced we’re at our best, sadly, I’m predicting a defeat (That should ensure we win!).
Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday 2 Leeds United 1.
It was two points dropped as United piled frustration upon frustration on Tuesday with a comfortable win over Preston in every way except goals.
Familiar, yes, but this had a different feel as PNE came at us and tried to play football.
A rare, good performance from the referee also led to a flowing game of thick-and-fast chances.
It meant that our missed chances were far more obvious even than usual and, while Jack Harrison and Gjanni Alioski were culpable, it’s poor Patrick Bamford who is shouldering the majority of the blame. It will have been bittersweet for him when Eddie Nketiah bagged the equaliser.
All of the focus for Saturday is whether Marcelo Bielsa changes the team. Precedent suggests he won’t but the outcry has been one of the biggest he’s faced as manager and there’ll be plenty of quizzical looks if Nketiah isn’t in the starting line up.
It’s always tough at Hillsborough and Sheffield Wednesday are having a decent season, so I’m predicting a second 1-1 away draw in a week, no doubt having deserved much more.
Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday 1 Leeds United 1.
Leeds came back from Lancashire with a point but, goodness me, it could and should have been three.
Once again countless efforts (22) were fired towards the Preston goal but only a few actually troubled the home keeper and had it not been for substitute Eddie Nketiah, Leeds - despite most of the possession - would have left Deepdale with nothing and that would have been a travesty.
Many people now are clamouring for changes to the starting XI.
Poor Paddy Bamford is having no luck in front of goal and it is starting to affect his confidence, it’s okay that he runs his socks off while he’s on the field but Leeds paid £7m for a man to stick the ball in the net and frankly he’s not doing it. Tuesday meant he’d gone eight games without a goal.
Whether Marcelo Bielsa likes it or not, it’s time to give young Eddie Nketiah a run in the side and adapt to the young Arsenal loanee’s style of play.
If Bielsa continues with Patrick Bamford, it’s to the detriment of the team and shows that the head coach may not be as ‘biblical’ as some fans think. Another who deserves more game time is Tyler Roberts who has done well when called from the bench. Either Stuart Dallas, who’s never a central midfielder, or the less-than-encouraging Helder Costa could make way.
Leeds face a tough challenge in South Yorkshire against third-placed Sheffield Wednesday for another game moved to lunchtime thanks to Sky. Ex-Leeds boss Garry Monk is in charge and there is no love lost between the clubs.
Leeds, without a couple of changes, might come undone because it seems that however many chances we create, it’s only one that goes in the back of the onion bag.
And against Monk’s improving Wednesday side that might not be enough.
Prediction: With changes, Leeds to win 2-1. Without changes, Wednesday to win 2-1.
After a tough assignment at Preston, which they nearly lost, United face another struggle at Hillsborough.
The scarcity of goals continues to be not only a worry for United fans but a source of bitter division and argument as Eddie Nketiah staked another claim for a starting position. His goal was well taken and reminiscient of some of Kemar Roofe’s best efforts last season.
Sheffield Wednesday are handily placed on 23 points, one less than United.
We will not need to be reminded that Garry Monk plotted a rare double against United as Birmingham’s manager last season.
In October, Wednesday have won games by a single goal including slipping past lowly Stoke on Tuesday night.
On the previous Friday they drew with Cardiff 1-1 after dominating the game in the first half. Looks familiar? You bet!
This is going to be a tough one to predict and one goal could settle it.
Who will score it though is anybody’s guess.
Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday 1 Leeds United 1.