Friday, 8 November 2013

'Going to places like Charlton'

The need at Leeds United is for consistency of performance and, in particular, an ability to 'go to places like Charlton and pick up points': Leeds United

Charlton have certainly been consistent in recent matches: consistent in keeping a clean sheet, and consistent in failing to score goals in the absence of Yann Kermorgant who is 32 today. In the form table, Leeds are one place above Charlton in 7th. In the real table, they are 8th and Charlton are 17th with a gap of six points. Away from home, Leeds have won two, lost one and drawn four.

Four Four Two had Leeds finishing 3rd this season, but there is really no sign of that form yet. Having suffered the depredations of Ken Bates, the Bahrain-based International Investment Bank have not really come up with the goods. A city with the football history, size and dynamism of Leeds really ought to be in the top flight, but it is now ten years since they came down.

In their 2-0 home win against Yeovil last week, Ross McCormack, now with eight goals to his credit, was the key difference between the two sides. He provided two clinical finishes with Rodolph Austin, the driving force in midfield, setting up both goals. However, the Football League Paper gave Matt Smith a score of 4 and reckoned that the 'Big striker looked totally one dimensional and missed a great first half chance.' He was replaced by Blackstock on 57 minutes.

At right wing-back Lee Peliter did well as he replaced 19-year old starlet Sam Byram. Scott Wootton 'marshalled the defence well and kept the side organised at the back.' Paddy Kenny in goal 'looked shaky when dealing with high balls but otherwise sound.' Although performances have been inconsistent, this is not a team with any weak links.

It's undoubtedly going to be a competitive game tomorrow and when the odds appear I would expect Leeds to be favourites. In fact, they indicate a game that could go one of three ways: (Coral) Charlton 6/4, Draw 23/10, Leeds 7/4. Leeds fans seem to be expecting a 2-1 win, which is what I expect myself, but it does imply that the Charlton defence will crack: Predictions

Chris Powell has missed out on being manager of the month which is probably just as well, given the curse associated with that award. However, it was nice to see him nominated.

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