Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s home clash with Rotherham United.
When Neil Redfearn shook Steve Evans’ hand at the end of the 0-0 draw between Leeds United and Rotherham last May it would have been a brave man who would have said that those same two managers would be in the dugouts when the teams met again.
We would, perhaps, have expected to see Evans again. After performing miracles to keep Rotherham in the Championship, he arrived at Elland Road for the last game of the season in holiday mode, wearing sandals and a sombrero to signify that his work had been done and that the Millers could look forward to the summer.
The chances of seeing Redfearn again though were slim. The writing was on the wall for the Leeds manager, despite him achieving his aim of preserving the Whites’ Championship status. By that stage the promise which had been shown around the turn of the year had disappeared as events took a negative turn within the camp.
It was no surprise, therefore, when Redfearn was removed from his post.
Yet here we are six months on and both men will be back at Elland Road to resume hostilities, with their feet firmly in the opposite camp. Redfearn had been handed a route back into the game by Evans’ shock departure from the South Yorkshire club back in September. Evans of course is now the incumbent at Elland Road and there is no doubting who is making the better fist of their new role. Rotherham are struggling at the foot of the table and Redfearn has yet to see his new charges win a game.
Meanwhile, Evans has presided over two consecutive wins, a feat the Whites had not managed since Redfearn’s charges beat Ipswich and Wigan last March. With the home hoodoo buried with a win over Cardiff last time the team played at Elland Road and coming off the back of an impressive derby win against Huddersfield, Leeds should be full of confidence.
Leeds will have a full and bouyant squad to choose from, with several fringe players having impressed in the friendly win at Wycombe on Friday.
But apart from Liam Cooper slipping back into the back four, I can’t see there being too many changes from the team which blew Huddersfield away in 10 mesmerizing minutes.
Prediction: Leeds United 3 Rotherham United 1.
With the terrible events of last Friday still fresh in everybody’s minds, Championship football returns after the international break.
Myself, the game of football has been furthest from my mind as I think of those who have lost loved ones. Football though has shown solidarity, especially in the moments before the England versus France game at Wembley.
Rotherham United are the visitors to Elland Road tomorrow, coached by former Leeds head coach Neil Redfearn. I am sure he will receive a fantastic welcome before kick-off.
His tenure hasn’t been the easiest and it looks like a hard battle against relegation awaits. He has added free agent Leon Best to hopefully increase his team’s goals output. Rotherham sit bottom of the league with nine points after only two wins this season.
Steve Evans, on the other hand, had two great victories before the international break and his team selection should reflect the good form shown by the players recently.
I wouldn’t make changes if everybody is fit, although Jordan Botaka is one player I’d like to see get some minutes off the bench.
I see this as another step up the Championship table and if Leeds can get a early goal I see a comfortable home win.
Prediction: Leeds United 3 Rotherham United 1.
Our return to Elland Road tomorrow finds the fanbase in higher spirits than normal. Back-to-back wins and back-to-back clean sheets with a professional friendly win over Wycombe last Friday all contribute to the positivity.
Both managers will be well up for it but Rotherham should be beatable. With players like Charlie Taylor returning and Steve Evans seeming to have found a better formula than Uwe Rosler we are hoping to use the next few games to hoist ourselves clear of the bottom three.
The omnipresent possibility of a takeover, the drawn out approach for Liam Bridcutt and this year’s farce of a team calendar serve to rein in any over-enthusiasm.
Prediction: Leeds United 2 Rotherham United 0.
Once again Leeds United go into a game we all expect them to win.
Including an efficient-enough friendly down at Wycombe on Friday, the Whites have won three on the spin without conceding a goal while Rotherham are still without a win under ex-Leeds favourite, Neil Redfearn.
Indeed you have to go back to September for the Millers’ last wins, against Birmingham and Cardiff.
So, if we really have turned a corner, we ought to win this one but I am sure all Leeds fans will be nervously awaiting the outcome.
We often get to a place similar to this full of optimism only to see it disintegrate in front of our eyes!
Prediction: Leeds United 4 Rotherham United 0.
It’s the first time I’ve been this excited for a game at Elland Road since Burnley. Everyone is buzzing after the Huddersfield game. Neil Redfearn will have his side fired up; they are desperate for three points but we’ll beat them comfortably.
Prediction: Leeds United 3 Rotherham United 0.
Former Whites’ coach Neil Redfearn is assured of a hero’s welcome on his return to LS11. It’s been hard graft for the Millers, while, after two successive wins it’s time United entered the top half of the table above their Yorkshire rivals.
Prediction: Leeds United 2 Rotherham United 1.