YEP Jury - Doom and gloom lifted at Leeds United but Reading won't simply 'roll over'

Our fans' panel are in good spirits after the Bristol City match but expect Reading to pose a stiff challenge at Elland Road tomorrow.

Friday, 21st February 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 21st February 2020, 10:40 am
Stuart Dallas.

ANDY RHODES

After last weekend’s win over Bristol City, the feeling of doom and gloom around Elland Road has been lifted.

United we’re back playing like their old selves but the key now is to continue this form.

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Marcelo Bielsa.

Reading, meanwhile, have had a mixed season which currently sees them in mid-table.

Despite this, certain players will be a threat.

Ovie Ejaria and Jonathan Swift have caught the eye for the Royals this season.

Both centre midfielders have contributed goals and assists so Kalvin Phillips will have another tough task.

Kalvin Phillips.

The key for United themselves will be to keep up the good work from last weekend.

If they can build towards the levels we saw in the opening months of the Championship season, then things will look good.

The last thing we need is to be undone by another mid-table side. Reading have just one win in eight league games and have a number of injury concerns.

Exploiting this could be United’s key to returning to form.

Jean-Kevin Augustin.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Reading 0.

MATTHEW EVANS

If Leeds United are to break free of the Championship and finally get promoted then we now need to go on a run similar to the seven-match winning sequence we had before Christmas.

The good news is that Reading (along with Middlesbrough, Hull and Huddersfield, our next four opponents) were all defeated as part of that run.

Unfortunately, past results cannot be used as an indicator of future success and we should be in absolutely no doubt that this will be a tough, make-or-break week.

It looks set to be the same team that faced Bristol City last weekend but a similar performance should garner the three points as long as we take our chances.

Kalvin Phillips’ return from suspension and improved form should drive us on and, if we’ve failed to score by 70 minutes, then Jean-Kevin Augustin is due his first goal, fitness or no fitness.

I’m expecting nothing less than a Leeds win to set us up for a famous week.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Reading 0.

DAVID WATKINS

Thirteen to go and, with it being so congested at the top of the Championship, you have to think we need to win all or most of our remaining seven home games.

Reading are one of few sides we’ll play with little to play for; they sit mid-table, 11 points behind the play-off places and 11 safe of relegation. Under new manager Mark Bowen they’ve become difficult to beat though, with a decent away record; only four sides losing fewer games and three conceding fewer goals on their travels.

They’ve won at Fulham and Preston this season too and will be eyeing an FA Cup quarter-final as they entertain Sheffield United in the fifth round.

This one is all about us though, another must-win game as we strive to maintain that gap to third place.

Encouraging results at Brentford and against Bristol City last weekend ought to provide momentum but the Royals are yet to concede more than two goals in a league game away from home all season, so I’m saying Leeds to win but by the narrowest of margins.

Prediction: Leeds United 1 Reading 0.

JACOB STARR

The Whites welcome an inconsistent Reading side to Elland Road tomorrow as they look to build on the last two results which have rewarded four points, and start a run of good form.

Leeds were triumphant in the return fixture, with Jack Harrison netting a late winner in a 1-0 win, and I don’t see the margin of victory widening when the two teams go head to head again. Mark Bowen’s men have had a mixed bag of results recently, but seem better on the road, most notably a 2-1 win at Fulham on New Years’ Day as well as a comfortable 3-0 win at Hillsborough last time out.

However, they find themselves firmly in mid-table with no real threat of relegation or a late push for the play-offs. Marcelo Bielsa’s team need to convert more chances, as ever, but will overcome the Royals if they put in the same performance as they did against Bristol City.

Fulham travel to Derby tonight which looks to be a tough test for the Cottagers whilst Brentford and Forest are both at home and should win.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Reading 1.

KEITH INGHAM

What a difference a week makes! For a few, myself included, we were just about to reach for a bottle of the ‘hard stuff’ as Leeds’ advantage dropped to goal difference after an indifferent performance at Forest.

Whatever was said after that game has had the desired effect; a good draw at Brentford was followed by a comprehensive 1-0 victory over Bristol City and the smiles have returned to the faces of most Leeds United fans.

Reading have improved steadily and, in a form table taken over the last 22 games, are in the top 10. They have also impressed ‘on the road’ with their 3-0 victory at Sheffield Wednesday a clear example of why they cannot be taken for granted.

With Stuart Dallas doing well at left-back, he looks to have solved the problem berth and I’m not expecting any changes despite the narrow scoreline that brushed Bristol aside.

A tough week is ahead; Reading is followed by trips to Middlesbrough and Hull so three points tomorrow are very much needed to keep the smiles where they are and the rivals beneath Leeds at arms’ length.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Reading 0.

MIKE GILL

The return of Kalvin Phillips has coincided with two brilliant performances from the team.

Picking out a man of the match after Saturday’s game against Bristol City was difficult as there were so many contenders. It was also good to hear the supporters in fine form from start to finish. Of course, scoring an early goal helped but we shouldn’t underestimate how important a supportive home crowd is. I’m sure encouraging Kiko Casilla instead of calling for him to be replaced had a positive effect from the start.

Our wonderful head coach has shown us the example by supporting his players. While some fans and even journalists want Illan Meslier in the side and worry about when Jean-Kevin Augustin and Ian Poveda will get a start, the boss keeps his patience with them and trusts his own judgement. Call him stubborn if you like but give me that attitude over ditherers and yes men.

At this stage of the season, the relative form of our opponents is pretty meaningless. It’s all about Leeds themselves grinding out results now and building momentum.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Reading 0.