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Leeds United vs Fulham: Match Preview

We preview Saturday's 3pm game against Fulham at Elland Road, with Ross McCormack set to return to his former club.

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These two sides will come into the game with the exact same run of form.

DWLWL...midtable form.

Leeds will be desperate to bounce back after their heavy 4-1 defeat to Ipswich Town last time out, while Fulham were once again put to the sword by Watford who eventually triumphed 5-0 at Craven Cottage.

Boss Neil Redfearn could be without centre-back Giuseppe Bellusci who is still a doubt due to a hamstring injury.

After United's poor display against the Tractor Boys, midfielder Rudy Austin could be pushing for a start as Redfearn looks for more bite in the middle of midfield.

Fulham will no doubt start with former Leeds striker Ross McCormack up top but they will be without goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli. Instead Gabor Kiraly will start with his silly pants on.

Saturday's game will see the two teams meet for the first time since March 2004 and both sides were in the Premier League on that occasion. Fulham won 2-0 that day but Redfearn is confident his side can respond from their defeat last Saturday.

Speaking to the Evening Post earlier this week, Redfearn said:

"We've been playing well at home and I'm mindful of that. Sometimes you can make things worse by trying to make them better.

"Saturday was a game we got beat in heavily but the previous week we had a great result. We kept a clean sheet against a top side so sometimes you have to say it's a bad day at the office and move on.

"We've got a confidence about us (at home) and the game we play fits the majority of the players. It suits us. I'm trying to get us into a league position where we can relax and play out football but the signs are good. They're still good."

Ahead of the game, we gathered the thoughts from some of our writers about their predictions for Saturday's clash.

John Sigal: This match will see two squads meet whose talent hasn't consistently turned into points. Fulham has its fair deal of firepower through Ruiz, Rodallega, and McCormack, but Leeds boasts its own repertoire of attacking players in Antenucci, Doukara, Adryan, and Mowatt.

It'll come down to the defence and Fulham's has been pretty poor this year. Contrastingly, I think Leeds will bounce back from the four goals they leaked in last weekend and pull away with a thrilling 3-2 win.

Anthony Ali: I don't see Redfearn making many changes from the side that played at Ispwich last weekend. Despite getting thrashed by Town, Leeds are a different team at Elland Road. Having scored at least two goals in their last three matches at home, the Whites have been sharper offensively in front of their own fans.

Something to watch for will definitely be Ross McCormack's return to Elland Road. With the Scot having 4 goals and 7 assists on the season, the Whites' defense will have to shake off their recent struggles to contain him. But with Fulham coming in off of a five-goal drubbing at the hands of Watford, I see Leeds taking this one, with a final score of 2-1.

Jake Porritt: I'm expecting a win from Saturday's game. Our away from has been terrible but our home form has been steadily consistent, losing only twice so far this season. The team will be looking to bounce back from last week's poor performance with a win and show that beating top of the table Derby a couple of weeks ago was no fluke.

Fulham have been abysmal away from home and I watched their match against Watford last week and thought they were extremely poor. Obviously the return of Ross McCormack to Elland Road is being hyped up, but him and Rodallega are their biggest threats going forward. But at the back they're missing their no.1 goalkeeper through suspension.

That in itself fills me with confidence for our chances. Kiraly has made four appearances so far this season in which he has let in 17 goals.

If we can get at them early and play like we did against Derby then I can see only one winner in this game. Tickets are selling well, with both the North and South Stands selling out, the atmosphere could be one of the best so far this season.


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