Leeds United are back in action this Saturday after another poor display at the Ricoh Arena on Tuesday night. It was United's second 2-1 defeat in just a matter of days and two Gary McSheffrey penalties were enough for the hosts as Neil Redfearn suffered his second defeat since becoming the caretaker boss of Leeds United. Doncaster are the visitors to Elland Road this weekend and the clash will be the third game between the two sides this season with the Whites twice coming out on top at the Keepmoat stadium. The league game between the two sides saw United comfortably win 3-0 in a game which included a superb overhead kick for Leeds' top goalscorer Ross McCormack.
There is a difference of 21 points between the two sides and Doncaster are struggling at the foot of the table and haven't recorded a win since a 2-0 success over Barnsley at the start of January. It will be the second game in a row in which the Whites have faced the team at the bottom of the table but will Doncaster profit in a similar way to Coventry against a lacklustre Leeds outfit or will United improve improve in time for the Yorkshire derby?
Neil Redfearn will be without Fabian Delph who has returned to parent club Aston Villa for treatment after picking up an ankle injury during the midweek defeat away to Coventry. Michael Brown may return to the fray in place of Delph but Andros Townsend is another option should Redfearn opt to shuffle his pack. After two disappointing defeats it is likely that more changes could be on the cards, Andy O'Brien made his first appearance since coming back into the fold on Tuesday as a second half substitute and could be involved.
Fabien Robert (groin) and Martin Woods (knee) are both available for the visitors after the pair have both been missing during the last few weeks. However George Friend (knee), James Coppinger (cheekbone) and Neil Sullivan all remain on the sidelines for Rovers boss Saunders. Former United shot stopper Sullivan has been a long term absentee for Doncaster after he had thumb surgery, meanwhile Habib Beye serves the last of his three game suspension.
One to Watch:
Despite losing top scorer Billy Sharp during the January transfer window, Doncaster still possess some players who will need to be kept in tow. One of those is El-Hadji Diouf who has always been a controversial character throughout his career which has included spells at Liverpool, Sunderland, Lens, Blackburn, Rangers, Bolton, Stade Rennais and Sochaux. Diouf is also experienced at International football and has hit 21 goals in 69 games for Senegal. Twice named African footballer of the year, Diouf has notched 4 goals so far in a Doncaster shirt and will be looking to add to that tally against a very fragile Leeds defence which continues to leak goals with ease.
United simply must win this fixture but with Doncaster fighting for their lives at the wrong end of the table, the result could easily go the other way as we saw during the week away at Coventry. The game will surely be Neil Redfearn's last at the helm after two very poor showings over the last two games which has seen him makes some bizarre decisions. Whilst I feel sorry for Redfearn, I don't feel he is up to the job. Nevertheless the fans will get behind him in the hope that it will help steer the Whites to a much needed three points. I think Doncaster will be fancying their chances on Saturday though and I think it will be hard for Leeds. I'm going to predict another frustrating game for the Whites with the result being a draw.
Last Six Meetings:
14th October 2011 - Doncaster Rovers 0-3 Leeds United
23rd August 2011 – Doncaster Rovers 1-2 Leeds United (League Cup)
5th March 2011 – Leeds United 5-2 Doncaster Rovers
17th September 2010 – Doncaster Rovers 0-0 Leeds United
25th May 2008 – Leeds United 0-1 Doncaster Rovers (Play Off Final)
1st April 2008 – Doncaster Rovers 0-1 Leeds United