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Saturday Preview: Brighton v Leeds

It's Friday, which means only one thing: League One football tomorrow! Actually, it probably means the Rugby World Cup Final, the Premier League, and about seventy other things before you think of League One, but still, for those of us who care, Leeds have a chance to extend their unbeaten run to a staggering twelve games. Having scraped a draw last week only because the referee didn't notice the winning goal, they need a solid performance.

The Venue
First obstacle: the stadium is small, old, and largely made up of temporary buildings. Leeds are likely to play before a tough home crowd and a small, probably wet group of travelling supporters (the away supporter's area is uncovered and temporary. Lovely.) It's also a long way away from Leeds, meaning a long bus journey to get there. The local pub is apparently pretty good, though.

The Teams
Leeds are without strikers Tore Andre Flo and Leon Constantine, although the latter will probably be fit again next week. Flo just had surgery, and is looking at at least another month out of the squad. Jonathon Douglas somehow survived international duty for Northern Ireland, where he came off the bench for 16 minutes in matches against Germany and Cyprus. As for the starting eleven:
Goalkeeper: Casper Ankergen. League One Player of the Month for last month - is there another choice for Wise?
Defence: Hasn't changed much all season and probably won't change much tomorrow. Last week's lineup was Frazer Richardson, Matt Heath, Rui Marques, and Jamie Clapham.
Midfield: Still the only part of the Leeds lineup that's not an easy selection. Wise played David Prutton, Andy Hughes, Alan Thompson, and Sebastien Carole against Leyton Orient last weekend, but Felipe da Costa and Ian Westlake are both fit and in reasonable form. Carole has improved dramatically over last season, and is guaranteed to start; I'd personally start with Felipe da Costa over David Prutton, but alas, I'm not the manager. Alan Thompson is out with a hamstring injury, so he'll be replaced by Jonathan Douglas, who'll also take the Captain's armband.
Strikers: Jermaine Beckford and Tresor Kandol. Who else? They're on fire together this season, even if Kandol did demonstrate his complete inability to take a penalty last week. Still, he just signed a new contract, so it's not all bad. One of the two loanee strikers, Mark de Vries and Wayne Andrews, will probably be on the bench, but with Leon Constantine almost back to fitness and Tore Andre Flo only a month away from a comeback, they probably won't stay at Elland Road after their loans expire at the end of the month.

As far as Brighton are concerned, striker Dean Cox is suspended and midfielder George O'Callaghan will probably be out with a hamstring injury. This is League One, so you can be forgiven for not caring all that much, just as I can be forgiven for knowing nothing about either them or the rest of the Brighton squad. Brighton currently sit in eighth place in League One with 17 points, 3 ahead of Leeds. A Leeds win will put the two teams in the same spot in the table, with Leeds dramatically ahead on goal difference.

And that's the lot. Saturday is probably the best chance Leeds have to screw up this season, but hopefully we'll leave with a decisive victory. Or, failing that, a lucky draw.