By Josh Grainger
Neil Warnock’s Leeds United are back in action
tonight, as they face a tricky away trip to Burnley.
Burnley have started in a similar fashion Leeds this season. The Clarets sit one place below the Whites in the league table, however only goal difference separates them. This may come as a surprise as
Burnley are the highest scorers in the division at this moment in time, scoring 28 goals, six more than Leeds have managed to master up.
One man that has played a key role in Burnley’s high goal tally is forward Charlie Austin. The former Swindon man has netted a staggering 16 goals in the league this season, six more than the next best goalscorer, Crystal Palace’s Glen Murray and seven more than Leeds’ Luciano Becchio. Leeds’ ‘shaky’ back four were ripped apart by Brighton’s Craig Mackail-Smith last Friday, and will have to show significantly more resilience if Charlie Austin is to be kept quiet.
Burnley go into the game off the back of a 2-0 home victory against Wolves on Saturday, the match being new manager, Sean Dyche’s first match in charge. The former Watford manager was appointed
recently, after Eddie Howe left the club in order to return to Bournemouth.
Burnley have no real injury worries to be concerned about, midfielder Ross Wallace is expected to start the match despite being stretchered off with a head injury at the weekend. Whilst Marvin Bartley will face a late fitness test on a groin injury.
Leeds are likely to be without defender Tom Lees, after he was temporarily blinded in one eye, forcing him to be subbed off and sent immediately to hospital, during Leeds’ draw with Brighton. Captain Lee
Peltier is expected to move into the central of defence to partner Jason Pearce, whilst either Danny Pugh or Adam Drury will replace the whole left by Peltier at left back.
The midfield may stay the same, however David Norris and Paul Green will be hoping one of them will play ahead of Rodolph Austin or Michael Brown. Aidan White and Michael Tonge should start out wide for the Whites. Luciano Becchio will be hoping he will be recalled to the starting line up, after scoring the equaliser at Brighton, however Luke Varney played fairly well in that fixture and he may maintain his place alongside El-Hadji Diouf.
Leeds are without a win in four games, and will hope that there recent run of coming back from behind to beat Burnley will continue. Three of the last four meetings between the sides have ended in Leeds wins after coming from behind. Arguably the most dramatic of all being last season, when Ross McCormack scored a 97th minute winner. Despite winning their previous three cup encounters that have been played on a Tuesday night, the Whites have failed to win on a Tuesday in the league since they beat Hull 4-1, right at the start of last season.
A win could move Leeds into the play off positions, however only if several other results go their way.
Overall, tonight will be a tough fixture for Warnock’s men, however if the defence can keep Charlie Austin quiet, a win is definitely possible. My prediction 2-2, with Diouf and White getting the goals.
I’ll be back with a review of the match on either Wednesday or Thursday, so be sure to check back for that.