We’re expectant. Last time out we saw Ross McCormack put in a stunning solo performance in a 4-2 win at Charlton. Can he carry on his brilliant scoring form against an underperforming side who sit 16th in the Championship table. We’re just bound to lose aren’t we? I mean, I’m always positive, but I can’t help but imagine an embarrassing 3-0 defeat.
Mind you, our home form isn’t too bad. Following the two defeats to QPR and Burnley we’ve gone on a three match winning streak. 8 goals scored and just 1 conceded in those three games. You can see why we’re expectant, now.
I can’t see many changes to our line-up. I’d hope after Danny Pugh’s excellent display against The Addicks, he’ll keep his place at left wing-back, although the returning Stephen Warnock may well come straight back into the team. Scott Wootton has been made the only doubt by Brian McDermott, so I’d expect Marius Zaliukas to make his first competitive start, whilst Sam Byram and Alex Mowatt could return to the starting XI in place of Lee Peltier and Michael Brown.
I think we’ll carry on with the 3-5-2/5-3-2 formation with Rodolph Austin in the attacking midfield role, where he has performed magnificently in the last couple of home games, behind Ross McCormack and Dexter Blackstock. The pair seemed to strike up a decent partnership against Charlton and hopefully that’ll continue on Saturday. A win on Saturday could see Leeds leapfrog into the play-off paces and as high as 5th.
Ticket sales have been excellent, the ticket office are expecting around 30,000 inside Elland Road, including 2,200 Middlesbrough fans. It should make for a good atmosphere, as it always is at home against ‘Boro in my opinion.
Leeds hold the bragging rights in the head-to-head department, with 32 wins (38%). Middlesbrough have won 28 matches (33%) and there’ve been 24 draws (29%). At Elland Road, Leeds hold a good record, winning 22 (52%) of their matches. Middlesbrough have won just 11 (26%) and 9 draws (21%) have taken place.
Last time out at Elland Road, Leeds came out on top with a 2-1 win back in December 2012. Luciano Becchio bagged two goals to cancel out Lukas Jutkiewicz’ opener. It just so happened that the Middlesbrough victory last season was Leeds’ fourth home win in a row, a feat that would be matched if we were victorious on Saturday.
Finally, my prediction. I said earlier in the article a 3-0 loss. I could see that happening, but I’m hoping for a 2-0 win – McCormack and Austin bagging the goals.