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Marching on Together: Leeds v Hartlepool match preview

Leeds travel to Hartlepool United on Saturday afternoon with a keen eye towards the playoffs that commence in the second week of May. As Simon Grayson looks toward the final two matches he has stated that wishes to keep create a winning momentum into the important dates. Rightfully so but given injuries have stricken the Whites of late, they will need to juggle the realities of structuring play intelligently and not wearing down players before the run towards the Championship.

Against relegation concerned Hartlepool, Leeds is without play-maker Fabian Delph, who is in the sin-bin and Robert Snodgrass who has been dealing with a curmudgeonly ankle injury. The injury to the young Scot is most concerning as he will need to be fully-fit in the opening leg of the playoffs and should not be rushed in these two final matches. While there as been commentary of him returning to training early next week, they need to structure his return for the first playoff match less risk his involvement. Equally while it is tempting to utilize the striking combination of Luciano Becchio and Jermaine Beckford, now is the time to make more use of England U18 Tom Elliott with Liam Dickinson. Equally there is never a better time to give fine young players such as Jonathan Webb and Ollie Hotchkiss an opportunity.

Enjoy the match and as always I will report on it as it concludes. Until then we're Marching on Together.