Leeds v Preston North End
I was met with the second stage of the revamping of Elland Road on my arrival. Pretty impressive it is too.
Heroes of past and present day.
Team News: Two changed from Bolton, Jansson for Pennington, Borthwick-Jackson for Berardi. Midweek hat-trick hero Sammy Siaz starts on the bench.
Team: Wiedwald, Ayling, Jansson, Cooper(c), Borthwick-Jackson, O'Kane, Phillips, Siaz, Hernandez, Roofe, Wood.
Subs: Vieira for Phillips, Siaz for Roofe, Dallas for Borthwick-Jackson
Leeds were denied by a resolute Preston team, despite being down to ten men and time wasting whenever they had the opportunity. The inconsistent refereeing didn't help the game flow, but Leeds were well short of the performances they had done previously.
Leeds were bright early on but found a Preston team in a resolute mood, no ball was left unchallenged and chances were at a minimum. Alioski had Leeds' best opportunity but his effort went wide, Browne had Preston's best chance but Ayling blocked his effort. 0-0 at the break.
Browne had another chance to silence the large Leeds crowd, Preston had the ball in the net but it was ruled out for offside. The visitors were reduced to ten men when Pearson saw his second card of the afternoon, Leeds introduced Vieira and Siaz to hopefully seize on their numerical advantage, Wood then had Leeds' best chance of the afternoon but in a one-on-one situation with Maxwell it was the Preston keeper who came out on top. Dallas was also denied by Maxwell and the post, Hernandez then forced the Preston keeper into a superb save from the rebound.
Preston so nearly stole the points with two late efforts, one cross went across the Leeds six yard box but found no takers and deep into injury time Harrop hit the Leeds crossbar.
My Man of the Match: Liam Cooper, good performance at the back
On Wood: “Chris is very important and that is why he will not leave. Many bids can come, of course, he is a good striker. But if we want to achieve something this season, you cannot sell your best players. If we want to go up, we need to keep good players.”
On the game: “I have a mix of feelings. It was great to see how many fans came to the game and I would have liked to have got the three points. We have to settle for only one point and a clean sheet, which is also important. When you play for that amount of time with one player more and do not win, it is an opportunity lost. You have an opportunity and you believe you can get the goal.
"It was a difficult game against a good team. Preston showed they are a good team. Preston won the challenges in the first half and that is frustrating. We have to impose ourselves on our home ground and we did not do that in the first half. We gave the ball away too easily and when you play against a good team you suffer. We did not have the speed in the game that we should. On another day we could have got the 1-0 win."
Alex Neil: "I think the frustrating thing is, is that Ben getting sent off stopped the momentum of the game, I thought we were good; I thought we moved the ball well and looked good on the front foot and were more aggressive and I thought we dominated Leeds United on their on their own patch."
Andrew Butterwick's view of yesterday's stalemate at Elland Road
Cheers Andrew and Thank you.
Social media reacted a little negatively about yesterday's 0-0 draw, the referee also drew quite a lot of criticism for his leniency for a vast amount of time wasting that Preston did in the later part of the game. Luke Ayling, Liam Cooper and Borthwick-Jackson were the players who fans thought performed the best for Leeds in the game.
Heidi Haigh's blog on the Preston game ahead of tomorrow's game with Fulham at Elland Road
Thank you Heidi and great to see you.
With the dust settled from Saturday's draw with Preston I expect a change or two for the upcoming game with Fulham. The midfield was overrun by Preston for sixty minutes until they were reduced to ten men, the introduction of Vieira and Siaz gave Leeds the upper hand and these two may get the 'nod' ahead of Phillips and Hernandez.
Saturday's game cried out for a strong runner and maybe the exiled Souleymane Doukara may get a chance to impress from the bench, it is strange how the striker has failed to make the eighteen in all the three games played so far, after having a good season last term.
Both games were incredibly tight, both with late equalisers last season and I expect another 'battle'.
I can see Leeds shading it by the odd goal in three. Leeds 2-1.
Last time we met
Leeds 1 Fulham 1
Fulham 1 Leeds 1
Chris Wood's late equaliser.
Eunan O'Kane is picked in the provisional squad for the Republic of Ireland for their upcoming games against Georgia and Serbia.
Thomas Christiansen on the game with Fulham: "Everyone is disappointed after that last game. I'm happy they are disappointed, that means they wanted to win. That is not a problem for me, to lift them up. I believe knowing who we are playing next will lift them because we will face one of the best teams in the league - one that plays the best football, that is extra motivation for them, they have a lot of quality. They like to have possession of the ball and move well, we need to be very focused and concentrate during the game to make sure we don't give them too much space."
He added Robert Green is available after injury but Gaetano Berardi and Mathew Pennington are still out through injury.
Samuel Saiz will face no action over last week's spitting allegations. FA considered evidence and ruled there was no case to answer.
Leeds v Fulham
Team News: Three changes, Shaughnessy for Cooper, Anita for Borthwick-Jackson, Saiz for Roofe.
Team: Wiedwald, Ayling(c), Jansson, Shaughnessy, Anita, O'Kane, Phillips, Alioski, Siaz, Hernandez, Wood.
Subs: Roofe for Alioski, Dallas for Siaz
Leeds went into the campaign with only three recognised centre-backs and were forced to pair young midfielder Conor Shaughnessy with Pontus Jansson in the absence of Matthew Pennington and Liam Cooper. Tom Cairney was a notable absentee for Fulham, a player who had netted in each of his last four appearances against the club that let him go as a 16-year-old.
The visitors were also without the suspended Tomas Kalas and suffered an early scare when fellow defender Tim Ream received lengthy treatment on a facial injury. The American returned to the field in time to see Stefan Johansen fire a 20-yard drive wide. Fulham had started well and dominated possession, Kamara saw an effort deflect behind before Cisse struck the base of the post with Wiedwald well beaten. Spanish playmakers Pablo Hernandez and Samuel Saiz lifted the home crowd and they were on their feet when Wood raced clean through from Ezgjan Alioski's well-weighted ball, only for Button to comfortably save his attempted chip.
Fulham lost Piazon to injury (possible broken leg) and were then rescued by the offside flag as Wood volleyed home after taking Saiz's cross down on his chest. From the replays it clearly showed the striker was played onside by a Fulham defender's yellow boot.
The second half had threatened to burst into life but was still simmering when Kemar Roofe came on to replace Alioski just after the hour mark. Hernandez wasted a good opportunity from a free-kick in a central position and Fulham captain Aluko dragged a shot wide as both sides pushed for a winner.
Kebano had a penalty appeal waved away by referee Darren Bond before Saiz shot wide at the end of a Leeds counter-attack. The game had become stretched with Fulham the next side to miss an opportunity, a golden one as Aluko was denied by Felix Wiedwald after being played in by Johansen.
After a lot of Leeds possession, only a last-ditch Shaughnessy tackle prevented Kebano from getting a shot in on goal after he was sent clean through while, at the other end, Kalvin Phillips scuffed an effort wide when he was set up by Kemar Roofe and substitute Stuart Dallas' superb cross only narrowly evaded Wood in an eventful finish.
Not perfect but a far better than last Saturday's disappointing display.
Players deserving a mention; Pablo Hernandez, Samu Siaz and a very impressive outing by Connor Shaughnessy, who was many fans Man of the Match.
Thomas Christiansen: “It was a draw and another clean sheet but I believe the team made a very good game, we had to recognise that we were playing against one of the best sides in the league, who started very well. We weren’t fast enough and we didn’t close the space to begin with. They combined very well with their passing, but towards the end of the first half we competed more and in the second half I think we deserved more. We dominated. We didn’t let them play as they wanted. I’m satisfied with the result.”
On Connor Shaughnessy: “He did very well, I've said before that he’s a young player with not much experience but he did well and he was under big pressure against a good team. It was a good way to test him against one of the best teams in the league."
Slavisa Jokanovic: "If you do not score the goal you cannot complain about the result or start thinking about three points. We weren't clinical enough in important moments, they were powerful and aggressive and pushed us to try and score the goal."
David Watkins look at the second
0-0 in four days, this time Fulham take a point at Elland Road
Thank you David.
Some positive comments about Connor Shaughnessy on social media but a little unfair criticism of our number 9, people have very short memories!
Christiansen on Cooper's chances of playing against Sunderland: “He had a problem before the game and I decided not to take a risk with him but I believe it’s nothing serious.”
Leeds have offered a deal for the forthcoming games with Burton Albion (9th of September) and Birmingham City(12th of September) games at Elland Road. The club will offer a discount of 33% if the tickets are purchased at the same time.
Adults buying tickets in the North and South stands will pay just £38 for both games and adults tickets in the family stand will also be available for £35 for the visit of Harry Redknapp and Nigel Cloughs team's, junior tickets starting from just £7. Both games are classed as Catagory B fixtures.
A very good move by the club after the slight increases in match day tickets caused a slight outcry when announced earlier.
Pontus Jansson showing the side many don't see in footballers. A visit to the Leeds Children's Hospital to see staff and parents.
Pontus has also paid for two LUFC season tickets so that children at the hospital can attend games this season. What a superb gesture!
We've met before
Sunderland 1 Leeds 0 FA Cup 3rd Round 2015
Sunderland 2 Leeds 0 Champ 2006
Sunderland 2 Leeds 3 Champ 2004
Sunderland 1 Leeds 2 Prem 2002
Sunderland 2 Leeds 0 Prem 2001
After two scoreless games Leeds travel to Sunderland to meet a foe that has a place in football history, it was the first Cup Final I'd ever watched on television as a proper Leeds fan and I was left inconsolable at the end. The 1-0 win for Stokoe and his band of misfits shocked the football world.
Move forward forty four years and both teams are competing in the same league for the first time in eleven years, Sunderland's relegation from the Premiership came as a wretched result of a very poor season under David Moyes.
This term ex-Leeds manager Simon Grayson will attempt to climb back there at the first attempt, parachute payments will guarantee that Sunderland will be heavily involved in the transfer market right up to the deadline.
Thomas Christiansen may decide to give the eleven that were unlucky not to claim three points on Tuesday another outing, Connor Shaughnessy was a able deputy for the injured Liam Cooper.
Myself I'd like to see a more attacking line up with either Alioski or Ekuban lined up alongside Chris Wood, Samu Siaz looks set to keep his place after a impressive Championship debut.
There are a lot of games ending up as draws and I see this as another tight affair in front of the Sky camera's. 1-1 draw.
Leeds offer Chris Wood a extended deal in the wake of the two rejected bids from Burnley and interest from other clubs in the Premiership.
Thomas Christiansen on the attacks on Barcelona:
Liam Cooper will travel to Sunderland, Borthwick-Jackson has shaken off the knock he had after the Preston game. Gaetano Berardi "is not far off" being fit again.
On Sunderland: "It's going to be a tough game. There are no easy games in this league and we will face a very good opponent who have a lot of experience.They have taken good results so it will be a tough game, but I believe in my team and the possibility of taking the three points. He added "Of course we have to focus on the opponent but the idea is to always go for the three points and doing what we do best, that will be the same situation."
On Liam Bridcutt: He still believes in Bridcutt despite the ongoing transfer speculation, adding: "I have only just heard about this. I have spoken to him and I believe in him. He is a captain for me, even if he is not in the team."
Finally on Chris Wood he added: "My intention is to keep Chris with us, I believe more in the player than the money. I also believe he can help the team finally achieve our goals. The club have made a big effort to keep him. I have told him to keep focused on what he has to do, the game against Sunderland, forget about all of the rumours and try to do his best on the pitch."
By Keith Ingham
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