Leeds United v Rotherham United: YEP Jury FA Cup predictions

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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s FA Cup home clash with Rotherham United.


Sam Byram.

Sam Byram.

As someone who was born in 1972, the FA Cup will always hold a special place in my heart.

As a child I spent countless hours poring over a veritable library of Centenary Cup final memorabilia and listening to the commentary of the game on an old reel-to-reel tape recorder that my granddad had somehow managed to procure.

Allan Clarke’s header in that final heralded one of the most iconic pieces of TV commentary but from the moment that “Clarke … One Nil” was substituted by the Porterfield version 12 months later, the FA Cup has been a cruel mistress to those who support Leeds United.

Moments to savour have been few and far between in the 44 years since Billy Bremner lifted the trophy for the only time in the club’s history and it feels at the moment as if it will be another 44 years before we will ever be in a position to enjoy a Wembley victory.

Personally the FA Cup has offered nothing but heartbreak in the years I have been following the team. The first time I saw them lose as a season-ticket holder was in the 1990 version of the competition at home to Ipswich. Quarter-final defeats to Liverpool and Wolves in successive seasons are as close as we have come in the last 25 years, and even in the days when we were so close to European glory, there were painful exits such as the one at Cardiff which seemed to precipitate our fall from grace. There has been the odd bright moment. January 3 will always remain a special date and the draws against Spurs and Arsenal in recent years will be remembered fondly, but in the main there has been little excitement on the Wembley trail.

The draw this year has not been kind either. Whilst a home draw against Rotherham offers the chance of progression, it’s hardly a tie to set the pulse racing, particularly when the club have made the decision to only open half the ground and have not exactly made the proposition an attractive one by heavily discounting the tickets.

The make-up of the side will be interesting.

With the spectre of Premier League clubs hovering to snatch up our young talent, will Steve Evans select the likes of Byram, Cook and Taylor who would then be cup-tied and maybe slightly less attractive propositions for would-be suitors, or will he use the game as an opportunity to use some of the fringe players and rest weary legs. Personally I would like to see Leeds have a go in the Cup.

Leaving the Championship in either direction is a slim possibility so a decent run may be the only excitement left for us this season. Unfortunately, I can’t see that happening, although I think we should have enough to at least get past Neil Redfearn’s men, who will have their league struggles on their mind tomorrow. Maybe we’ll get that glamour tie in round four!

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Rotherham United 1.


In days gone by the third round of the FA Cup was anticipated as much as the first-day fixtures, the chance for David to beat Goliath.

Teams dreamed of getting a ‘big’ team and a hefty increase in their bank balances. How things have changed. Premier League teams only seem to bother fielding stronger sides when they reach the later rounds. Leeds this Saturday welcome back Neil Redfearn and hopefully there will be a place to park his car this time. Such pettiness does not do the club’s reputation any good.

Liam Bridcutt became the first signing of the January transfer window. He will stay at least until the end of the season and there is a very good chance the midfielder will sign permanently in the summer.

The game at the weekend gives the opportunity for a few players not used in Championship games. Casper Sloth has been a rarely used substitute. I’d like to see Lewie Coyle given a start along with Lee Erwin with possibly Kalvin Phillips given a midfield starting place too. Last time at Elland Road, Rotherham surprised the complete jury with a 1-0 win in the Championship game played in November.

Even with a much-changed team I still expect to be in the fourth round – but don’t expect a glut of goals.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Rotherham United 1.


FA Cup third round time and a game that Leeds should really be winning.

We’ve had some difficult ties at this stage in previous years; a good second-half performance nearly got us a point at Sunderland last year and the disgrace at Rochdale in 2014 lives long in the memory.

Steve Evans says there will be changes for the game.

I would imagine that Mirco Antenucci might be due a start and, if Alex Mowatt is thought fit, he should return straight into the Leeds United starting line up.

Liam Bridcutt’s loan extension is great news for us and there’s no reason why we should fear Rotherham.

Nobody at Leeds United would complain at a cup run.

Prediction: Leeds United 3 Rotherham United 1.


Revenge is the main objective heading into the Rotherham game. We were really poor against them last time, so we need to put things right and hit three or four past them. There’ll be changes; hopefully they’ll have something to prove.

Prediction: Leeds United 3 Rotherham United 1.


The question this week is: Did we see the real Leeds United against Derby or against MK Dons?

Let’s hope it was the one that almost beat the Rams and that it is the real Leeds that turns up for the FA Cup tie with Rotherham. We have a score to settle as they halted our momentum when they last turned up on our patch.

The result may depend on how the managers play this game as my guess is both will want their sides fresh for the midweek league games next week, and that may dictate that the sides we see battle it out tomorrow will not be the best available. Rotherham’s recent results have been as erratic as our own. A game best left off the accumulator this week!

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Rotherham United 1.


Revenge is the main objective heading into the Rotherham game. We were really poor against them last time, so we need to put things right and hit three or four past them. There’ll be changes; hopefully they’ll have something to prove.

Prediction: Leeds United 3 Rotherham United 1.