The YEP’s Leeds United Jury: ‘Villa is tough test’ ... ‘Confidence restored’ ... ‘Ekuban - key to success’ ...

Caleb Ekuban.
Caleb Ekuban.
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Interestingly, each Yorkshire Evening Post juror has made the same prediction for Leeds United’s Championship game with Aston Villa tonight.

READ MORE - We’ll have to up our game to defeat Villa warns boss Christiansen

They also agree that it’ll be a test of the Whites’ top-six credentials. Do you agree?


Exactly how good are Leeds United? It’s starting to look like our current position is about right; as they say, the table never lies.

The top three all beat us soundly but go below that and we’ve had more success and managed to beat the likes of Bristol City and Middlesbrough. There are exceptions, of course, and losing to Wednesday and Reading is hard to fathom; less so the usual failure to turn up at Millwall.

Rob Green upends Albert Adomah during last year's meeting between Leeds United and Aston Villa at Elland Road.

Rob Green upends Albert Adomah during last year's meeting between Leeds United and Aston Villa at Elland Road.

The point of stating the blooming obvious is that the one top-six side we are yet to meet is Aston Villa.

If a play-off place is to remain plausible this season we have to show we can get points from sides like Villa, sitting as they do second only to leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers in the 10-match form table (Leeds are in 22nd place!).

There may be more hope than expectation in my prediction of a Leeds win but it’s the only result that will prove we are actually among the best six in this Championship.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Aston Villa 1.

After their impressive performance at Oakwell last Saturday, Leeds should have nothing to fear, but a stern test is expected nonetheless.

Leeds United fan, Mike Gill

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Stuart Dallas.

Stuart Dallas.

Aston Villa will provide us with a tough test but there’s a creeping return of confidence and the Leeds crowd will file through the turnstiles with renewed hope that we can match last year’s effort in the same fixture and take all three points.

This season’s Villa seem better equipped for the trials of the Championship, but there’s enough in the United ranks to make this an exciting contest.

You’d expect Thomas Christiansen to stick with the same team that beat Barnsley fairly convincingly last weekend, but I would have liked to have seen Stuart Dallas at left-back again tonight but his injury has ruled him out of the running.

This next run of games is crucial for our season and, by the time the transfer window opens, we’ll have a much clearer idea about what sort of campaign it’s going to be.

I still believe we have the makings of a good side and only need a few additions to improve.

A win against Villa will put down a new marker and set us up brilliantly for this month and the festive season.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Aston Villa 1.


Confidence is a strange and a wonderful thing; go back to before Middlesbrough and a lot of fans, me included, had cast this season to the bin, two wins and six points later, the picture is a little rosier.

You’ve only to look at most weeks in the Championship and there is nearly always a result that makes you scratch your head. Derby went to Boro and won 3-0 but then lost 1-0 at home to Ipswich. No game in this league can be taken lightly; it’s that competitive.

Aston Villa, under Steve Bruce, started the season indifferently, but now sit in the top six. They buy big-name players with a wage structure to match, so it’s not a surprise for them to be up there. They look to have a good enough squad to be challenging Wolverhampton for the automatic promotion place.

Last season’s visit of Villa brought an entertaining game for the Sky cameras, and I think another close game is on the cards. But, with some confidence restored, Leeds, with Samuel Saiz and Gjanni Alioski in fine form, just might have enough to claim the three points.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Aston Villa 1.

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On current form, Aston Villa represent the biggest threat to United until well into the new year.

Steve Bruce’s men have – at last – started to produce the form which was expected of them.

After their impressive performance at Oakwell last Saturday, Leeds should have nothing to fear, but a stern test is expected nonetheless.

Everyone is expecting Caleb Ekuban to lead the line and Felix Wiedwald to keep his position between the posts.

These two players are key to our ongoing success because, if the Whites can start to field a settled side, they should expect a consistent run of results to follow.

Ekuban has a nice combination of muscle and mobility and both attributes are needed for a lone striker.

Ronaldo Vieira should return at the expense of Eunan O’Kane, who is nursing an injury. Otherwise, there is no reason to make further changes.

Let’s hope that United can march on and claim another three points.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Aston Villa 1.


After a morale-boosting (and, it has to be said, rare) win at Oakwell last weekend United return to LS11 this evening, (once again for the television cameras), when they entertain fellow promotion aspirants Aston Villa.

Villa are bang in form having won their last three and last four out of five matches, and the Midlands’ side appears to have turned the corner following last season’s appointment of manager Steve Bruce, who is always assured of a warm welcome at Elland Road!

Following the victory in South Yorkshire, it would be a major surprise to see a change of personnel in the starting XI, meaning the previously suspended Ronaldo Vieira is likely to be on the bench for the home side.

For the visitors, Albert Adomah, having scored in his previous three games, will require close attention.

Villa currently sit six points and four places better off than the Whites, so another home victory is crucial as we head towards the festive period.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Aston Villa 1.