Leeds go into the game on Saturday having not won an away game since the 14th of September, 1-0 away to Bolton. At the time we all thought this was a great result, but looking back on it was it all that? Bolton were really struggling and have only just started to look decent again. Since then we have lost 1-0 away to Reading, conceding in the 96th minute, just after we should of scored ourselves! Lost 2-0 at Newcastle in the cup; lost 2-0 at Millwall, one of the worst games I’ve ever seen, lost 3-1 at Derby, say no more… and of course we lost 3-2 at Huddersfield, where we really should of won, we won’t forget that in a hurry will we!
Luckily for us, our home form has saved us a little. Since that victory away at Bolton we have won 3 out of our 4 home games, most convincingly of all a 4-0 win against Birmingham. Back to the matter at hand, Charlton. Going into the game at The Valley Leeds have a few major injury worries. Given the formation that has been working well for us lately is 3-5-2 and both our wing backs in Sam Byram and Stephen Warnock are injured, it isn’t looking good. However Byram didn’t start at home against Yeovil and Warnock went off in the first half so we did get a bit of practise. Jason Pearce slotted in at left wing back and against all odds, had a good game. However I do not think he will start there against Charlton, if we do stick with 3-5-2 I think Drury will play, as he is back in training after injury. Peltier also had a decent game, and he is the obvious choice to play right wing back.
It will be interesting to see whether McDermott sticks with the same back three of Jason Pearce, Tom Lees and Scott Wootton or brings in the experienced head of Marius Žaliūkas. You’ve got to think that he will be brought in sooner rather than later, otherwise what was the point in signing him?
I think we should keep the exact same squad for Charlton, with the exceptions of putting Poleon on the bench for Brown. What does Brown actually add? Answers on a postcard please. Obviously with the exclusion with Warnock Drury should also be brought into the squad. The key area, especially away from home, is in the centre of midfield. With Austin putting another brilliant, match turning performance in the second half against Yeovil fans will be expecting the same again. For whatever reason the Jamaican hasn’t been able to deliver away from home this season, at least not on a consistent basis. Mind you, who has? The midfield three of Austin, Mowatt and Murphy will have their hands full, but I am confident that they will come through. If we are serious about challenging for the playoffs, we need to win this game. I personally think we will win the game 1-0, with a Rodolph Austin screamer… I can dream, right?
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