CONFIDENT Yorkshire Evening Post jurors give their predictions on Leeds United’s upcoming Sky Bet Championship fixture with Hull City at Elland Road.
Have a scroll down the page and see if you agree or disagree with our regular pundits ... then post your own thoughts in the comments section at the bottom.
The Sky Bet Championship game with Hull City is, of course, just one more game with three points on offer, but as it’s the game that takes us to the season’s half-way point, it does have symbolic importance too.
Aston Villa play Sheffield United, so we know a Leeds win (and maybe even a draw) will propel us into the top six.
There will still be 23 games to go, but to be in the top six after playing every other side once means we can, rightly, claim to be among the best six now and give us a degree of confidence that we can still be there in May.
Hull are in the bottom nine and we’ve already beaten seven of those, with only Millwall beating us.
We’ve struggled against better sides, but Hull are not one of those with one win in nine games, and sitting sixth from the bottom of the table.
I expect Leeds to ‘do the business’ and then we can all have a merry Christmas and, who knows, maybe a very happy 2018.
Prediction: Leeds United 2 Hull City 0.
Hull City have a new manager with a proven CV and a decent squad so it is a surprise to me that they are in the lower part of the Championship.Leeds United fan, Keith Ingham
Hull City arrive at Elland Road in pretty dismal form but will be no pushovers having, so far this month, beaten Brentford and run Sheffield Wednesday and Cardiff City close.
United struggled against all three of those opponents earlier in the season. There’s an air of confidence sweeping the club but you can never be sure that’s a good thing and, with scarves and colours being encouraged among the bumper Christmas crowd, it just feels like one of those typical Leeds United, Yorkshire derby disappointments
Thomas Christiansen needs to decide whether Kemar Roofe keeps his place following his two completely contrasting recent appearances and there’s a question mark over the middle pairing of Kalvin Phillips and Ronaldo Vieira, who were ‘below par’ last weekend against Norwich.
It really does pain me to predict it, but this is exactly the type of game that United normally lose and it feels like that may well be the case again on Saturday.
Prediction: Leeds United 1 Hull City 2.
After the hard-fought victory over Norwich City last weekend, next up for Leeds United are Hull City on Saturday afternoon with another rare 3pm kick-off.
Following last season’s relegation, it’s been a difficult campaign for the Tigers, who presently lie some 14 points and 12 places worse off than the Whites, a run of form which saw Russian Leonid Slutsky replaced by Nigel Adkins just under a month ago. Adkins has made a positive impact thus far with a home win over Brentford and only a narrow defeat at high-flying Cardiff City.
United are likely to name an unchanged side from the one that was victorious against the Canaries and, hopefully, will be boosted by increased availability with the possibility of Stuart Dallas and Pierre-Michel Lasogga returning from injury.
Results are everything in this league and a victory would move United into the top six for Christmas. However, don’t under estimate that the Tigers regard this as their biggest game of the season.
Prediction: Leeds United 3 Hull City 1.
Four wins from six games has seen Leeds close the ten-point gap between themselves and Sheffield United drop to a one point and with Aston Villa playing Sheffield United on Saturday, a victory over Hull City will see United enter the Christmas fixtures in the top six.
In the run there have been some good displays, a couple that the results were more important than the performances, including last week’s that came with another clean sheet.
Felix Wiedwald now has eight in his first season with the club and has the confidence of the head coach though some fans remain critical.
Stuart Dallas looks to be out again, Caleb Ekuban is also set for a period on the sidelines. It is to be seen if Lasogga is fit enough, while Pablo Hernandez or Pavel Cibicki will operate on the wing.
Hull City have a new manager with a proven CV and a decent squad so it is a surprise to me that they are in the lower part of the Championship.
I expect another full house will see Leeds beat their rivals.
Prediction: Leeds United 2 Hull City 1.
Last Saturday’s narrow win against Norwich City was a good example of what the Championship is all all about.
United scraped home by the narrowest of margins gaining praise which could easily have been criticism had they not held out. On paper, Hull City is another ‘easy’ fixture but we all know that it will be far from easy. Following their relegation from the Premier League and abysmal start, the Tigers parted company with Leonid Slutsky.
By appointing the experienced but workmanlike Nigel Adkins, Hull are likely to adopt a defensive stance. Two weeks ago they benefited from the new manager effect by beating Brentford at home before travelling to Cardiff and being narrowly beaten 1-0. Although he had an almost anonymous game against Norwich, Kemar Roofe needs another chance to lead the line and Pawel Cibicki certainly deserves another start.
Another capacity crowd at Elland Road will be urging United to take the points and this is what they must do if they are to go into Christmas in the top six.
Prediction: Leeds United 2 Hull City 0.