Leeds United fans’ jury: Whites supporters approach Baggies fixture with cautious optimism

West Brom's former Leeds defender, Kyle Bartley (right). PIC: Barrington Coombs/PA Wire
West Brom's former Leeds defender, Kyle Bartley (right). PIC: Barrington Coombs/PA Wire
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The Yorkshire Evening Post’s Leeds United fans’ jury is divided ahead of the Whites tea-time trip to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Most agree it will be a tight affair. Some are erring on the side of caution, while others are cautiously optimistic of edging the result with at least one other confident of a Leeds whitewash.

West Brom manager Darren Moore is under a bit of pressure to halt his side's downturn in results. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

West Brom manager Darren Moore is under a bit of pressure to halt his side's downturn in results. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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ANDY RHODES

In the Championship they don’t come much tougher than this, do they?

Of all the sides relegated from the Premier League last season, the Baggies have started the brightest, proving that they can score goals for fun along the way.

Baggies danger man, Jay Rodriguez. PIC: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Baggies danger man, Jay Rodriguez. PIC: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

A trip to The Hawthorns would be a test for any Championship team, and if you’re serious about promotion it’s the type of game you need to be winning, especially when the opposition show signs of weakness.

With West Brom winless in four, United will be hoping to emulate Derby’s 4-1 demolition job there just over two weeks ago, but they’ll be wary of the likes of Dwight Gayle, Jay Rodriguez and Harvey Barnes.

At Wigan, Leeds put in a performance reminiscent of their early-season games, even going viral courtesy of their defensive efforts.

That defensive strength will, no doubt, be required again against the league’s top scorers.

Tomorrow will give Leeds a chance to show what they’re really made of.

Prediction: West Bromwich Albion 1 Leeds United 1

DAVID WATKINS

The Hawthorns will be emotional for me; it’s almost 50 years since I watched the great Revie side draw 1-1 there with Eddie Gray scoring and my Dad by my side.

That was in the old First Division and Leeds were about to win the title. This year we go there leading the Championship. Had we played the Baggies last month, a draw would’ve be a fine result as they’d been on a tremendous run of 11 games with only one defeat, but lately the wheels have come off with defeats at Hull and Wigan, a 1-4 thrashing by Derby and a solitary point in a 1-1 home draw with Blackburn.

Manager Darren Moore is under pressure to halt the decline and they have the talent to do it. Jay Rodriguez and Dwight Gayle have shared 16 goals already this season and young Harvey Barnes has five. In defence, our old friend Kyle Bartley will be fresh from suspension and they are good in the air so we’ll need to be strong.

On balance, I’ll be happy to replicate that score from 50 years ago.

Prediction: West Bromwich Albion 1 Leeds United 1

KEITH INGHAM

On the back of an impressive away win at Wigan, Leeds travel to the Midlands to face West Bromwich Albion for a Saturday tea-time kick off – another game moved for Sky, and we all know what the fans think of them!

West Brom were relegated at the end of the last season and have an impressive squad that wasn’t cheap to assemble. They have topped the table already but have had some indifferent results of late. That said, they’re still one of those teams likely to be in the top six in May.

Marcelo Bielsa could opt to keep the same side that did so well last Sunday, with Stuart Dallas and Barry Douglas as full-backs. Adam Forshaw is favoured instead of Samuel Siaz by the head coach and is not letting anybody down with his impressive displays.

West Brom are only five points behind Leeds and know a win over the table toppers will put them back into the top six.

Leeds would probably be happy with a point from a tough away trip but if they can recreate their display at Wigan they could just edge it by the odd goal in three.

Kyle Bartley, recently signed from Swansea, will know quite a few of the players he will be facing and will get a good reception from the away contingent.

The popular centre-half was widely tipped to be joining Leeds in the summer before the arrival of Bielsa.

After the Argentinian arrived the interest dwindled as Bielsa thought the options he had at centre-back were good enough.

Prediction: West Bromwich Albion 1 Leeds United 2

MIKE GILL

The more you look at Leeds United’s last Championship outing at Wigan, the better our performance looks.

The half-empty glass mentality says we still conceded from a set-piece.

The half- full view is that we don’t concede many goals from open play. On the attacking front, as long as we keep creating chances, we will continue to convert a decent percentage of them.

However, West Bromwich Albion are a different prospect to Wigan.

They got off to a good start on the Championship campaign trail but have struggled lately.

They have lost three and drawn one of their last four games. Just like Leeds, the Baggies have had injuries to key players to contend with but, of course, most of them will be available for selection against the Whites!

Darren Moore is a good, steady manager of the ‘old school’ who loves to see attacking football.

The scene is set for a high-scoring match.

Leeds to just edge it.

Prediction: West Bromwich Albion 2 Leeds United 3

MATTHEW EVANS

The Championship form guide says that we are playing West Bromwich Albion – relegated from the Premier League last season – at the ‘right time’.

And being able to go into 2018’s final international break at the top of the table should be more than enough to spur this Leeds United side on tomorrow evening.

I thought our last outing at Wigan Athletic was one of our most complete so far with dominance and composure that wasn’t quite reflected in the final scoreline.

Having midfield maestro Pablo Hernandez back is the main factor in us being back to our best but Adam Forshaw deserves credit too alongside two excellent displays at full-back from Stuart Dallas and Barry Douglas.

When Sky Sports picked this game for television coverage it will have been with the hope, more than expectation that it would be a top-of-the-table clash.

If we perform like we can – in our attractive new away strip – then, at least for United, it will be.

Prediction: West Bromwich Albion 0 Leeds United 2

SHAUN SMITH

The Hawthorns is the highest league ground in England but it is the visitors who are sitting on top of the world.

How many of us have slid away to the shed this week to gaze undisturbed at the league table? Leeds, this week, has been a city where bus seats are given up freely, motorists are let in at junctions and fireworks to celebrate looking down on the rest of the league. Off to Birmingham then and what is perceived by many as the least glamorous club in the least glamorous of cities. But fear not my dowdy friends, for Bielsaball is in town to brighten up your beige-faux-leather experience.

In truth, Birmingham is a fine night out and has much to offer the celebrating Leeds fan who, as sensible as ever, will have a great time.

For I suspect Leeds will score first and, in doing so, will start a chain reaction that will even have the locals excited, marching arm in arm with visiting fans, off to the pub to celebrate a victory not only for Leeds but for football itself. God bless you Birmingham. The town where the future begins.

Prediction: West Bromwich Albion 0 Leeds United 4