Leeds United v Bolton Wanderers

Joe Brennan

New Member
In the second Elland Road game of the season, Leeds take on fellow relegation hoverers, Bolton. Leeds have one win this season - at home against Middlesbrough, where new boy Billy Sharp got an 88th minute winner. Head coach Hockaday will be looking to get his second league win this season and increase the confidence of the fans and President Massimo Cellino. Bolton on the other hand will be looking to build on the momentum gained in the away win against Crewe Alexandra and get their first league win of the campaign. Recent history does not look good for Leeds, as although they got a 1-0 win away from home last season, in the return leg they got drubbed 5-1, with goals from Mason, Jutkiewicz, Knight, Davies and Moritz.

With regards to team news for the game, suspensions have hit Leeds hard. Luke Murphy was the 4th red card of Leeds' season last night against Bradford, after he received two yellow cards in the first half. New signing Guiseppe Bellusci will not feature having been sent off in the last league game against Watford, as did right-back Sam Byram. Bolton are suspension-free and ex-Leeds players Lonergan and Beckford will be looking to make an impact on the turf they shared together during their time at Leeds.

One would expect Marco Silvestri, the goalkeeper Cellino calls "one of the best in England" to start. Gaetano Berardi, a Swiss international full-back who returns from suspension may also feature. Cooper and captain Pearce are expected to start, while ex-Villa left-back Stephen Warnock will most likely make up the back four. Coach David Hockaday has been stubborn with changes to his diamond 4-4-2 formation, despite calls by many for changes to this. If Rodolph Austin makes the squad (he did not against Bradford in the League Cup due to injury) he will sit as the anchorman in the diamond. Michael Tonge and Tommaso Bianchi may be to the left and right, with £1 million man Luke Murphy as the midfielder behind the strike-duo of Sharp and Smith. This formation does not give Leeds much width, however Hockaday has stuck with this since the beginning of the season.
Bolton should start with Adam Bogdan, although they have at their disposal ex-Leeds keeper Andy Lonergan. A back four of McNaughton, Mills, Ream and Wheater would provide the most match fitness, as they have featured the most this season. A midfield four of Spearing, Chung Yong-Lee, Feeney and Danns will provide creativity, pace and goals. Leeds' once fan-favourite Beckford may start, having bagged three in two this season, possibly alongside Joe Mason, who arrived on loan from Cardiff City.

Whatever the line-ups, expect a tense, almost cup-tie affair, with both sides looking to get out of their bad form and turn around their early season troubles with three points.

Joe Brennan
Leeds United MOT

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