Opposition Focus: Leeds United

Image: Yorkshire Evening Post

Form: I knew Leeds have been going through a tough patch recently, but when I started doing the research for this, I was blown away by just how bad it is. Leeds have only won two games since the start of the year, once this weekend and their previous win before that was against Brentford back at the end of February. Leeds come into this game off the back of a 2-1 win over struggling Bolton, goals from Caleb Ekuban & Pablo Hernandez putting them 2-0 up, before Adam Le Fondre cut the deficit soon after and Leeds held out.

Formation: Leeds have been switching between a 4-2-3-1 & a 4-4-2 in recent weeks, so it’s hard to tie down exactly how they’ll line up, but I think on Tuesday it will be a 4-2-3-1, just to give their back line that tad more protection to deal with our midfield trio.

Dangerman: I don’t think we can quite count Andy Lonergan in the ‘ex-player who can come back to haunt us’ category, so we have to look elsewhere. I’m going for Pontus Jansson. Arguably one of the best central defenders in the division who will cause us problems at both ends of the pitch. Expect him to be a threat from set-pieces against our ‘undersized’ centre-backs.

Battle to watch: Tom Cairney v Ronaldo Vieira. Similar to how in recent weeks we’ve had decent battles between opposition centre-backs and our centre-forward, the main battle for Tuesday night will take place in the centre of midfield. Tom Cairney has a good record against Leeds so expect tough tackling midfielder Vieira to do everything he can to keep TC at bay.

Opposition view (@rossbell1984): What’s gone right for Leeds? Off the pitch, it’s been a big change with a heavy focus being placed on academy teams, the future & the actual running of the club returning to a somewhat normal level after years of Cellino/GFH/Ken Bates ownership.

What’s gone wrong? Most things on the pitch, we were briefly top of the table early on before being found out. The team is soft at its core and relies far too heavily on Saiz or Hernandez to perform magic to keep us in games. Prediction: 5-0 Fulham.

Prediction: As set out earlier, Leeds have just been terrible this side of new year, and that is somewhat sad because I always maintain that Leeds are one of the sides in this division that will always give you trouble (that’s probably the nostalgia glasses talking), but I just can’t see that being the case this time round.

Fulham 3-0 Leeds