After a loss at Brighton, some of the momentum for Garry Monk’s side seems to have dissipated. But having only lost to the top two teams in the Championship and Liverpool in the EFL Cup in the past two months, Leeds United should still be confident heading into tonight’s match at Elland Road against Reading FC.
The Whites have six wins, one draw, and three losses in their last ten fixtures and currently sit in sixth place in the table. They are tied with Derby County for fifth with 32 points but are behind on goal differential.
Tonight should be a telling contest for Garry Monk’s lads. As mentioned before, Leeds have lost to the top two sides in the table, and Reading comes in sitting in third place. Reading have won four of their last five, but their lone defeat was a 5-0 loss on the road at 10th place Fulham. Will they similarly struggle at Elland Road? Let’s hope so.
On our side, another match against a play-off positioned club should help to tell us what Leeds are really made of. A 5-0 win would be just what the doctor ordered to restore some confidence.
As usual, we have lots of coverage of this match here at Through It All Together. James Mahoney previewed the match for us, calling it a must win. Anatoliy Ivantchouk gives us his three potential MOTM candidates to watch. And if you want more to read, Ben Mallis put together a great look at Chris Wood’s scoring prowess, and James took a look at how many points Leeds need each month to maintain their promotion campaign.
So can Leeds United beat a promotion-calibre squad? Or will they fall to all three of the top three clubs in three weeks time? While the Whites sit 5 points behind 3rd place Reading, they’re also only 5 points ahead of 14th place Bristol City. These matches matter in a crowded table, and a win at Elland Road seems essential tonight to prevent a fall back to mid-table obscurity.
We’ll find out if Leeds can pull it off tonight at 7:45pm.
Leeds United vs. Reading
EFL Championship fixture
Elland Road, Leeds
LUTV, BBC Radio Leeds, International Listings
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
11:45am PT / 2:45pm ET / 7:45pm BT
Leeds United starting XI
Green, Ayling, Jansson, Bartley, Taylor, Dallas, Vieira, Sacko, Roofe, Doukara, Wood
Subs: Silvestri, Cooper, Berardi, Grimes, Mowatt, Bridcutt, Wilks
Reading starting XI
Al-Habsi, Gunter, Blackett, McShane, L. Moore, Van den Berg, Kelly, Evans, Beerens, McCleary, Samuel
Subs: S. Moore, Cooper, Harriott, Wieser, Kermorgant, Meite, Watson
Johnny Wakefield: 1-2 Reading. I hate to say it, but the Newcastle and Brighton losses have gotten to me, and I think this is the game that really bursts our little bubble of success. We’ve had a good run, and we’ll restart that run on Saturday with Brentford, but Reading are a good squad too as evidenced by their third place standing. Even with the attacking lineup, I think we lack the firepower tonight. Hope I’m wrong. MOT.
Matt Robinson: 1-1 draw. It'll be a tight game with Leeds controlling possession and Reading being hard to break down. This is a real litmus test for our play off credentials and a draw would be a good result in my opinion. Jaap Stam looks like a d*ldo but he's got Reading in great shape and off the back of a few mixed results for them a draw seems likely.
Sean Ryan: 4-0 Leeds. Reading are going very well this season, but they have no bottle and panic when the going gets tough. Leeds need a massive result after the Friday disaster against Brighton. We need this now more than ever if we are to prove we are good enough.
James Mahoney: 1-0 Leeds. Reading are in great form, but Garry Monk will have demanded a response, and I believe the lads will take stock. They will let Reading have the ball and use their pace on the counter to full advantage with Sacko breaking free early in the 2nd half and scoring the game’s only goal. MOT.
Anatoliy Ivantchouk: 2-1 Leeds. The defense will come out with something to prove after putting in a less-then-stellar performance against Brighton. Monk will encourage his side to push forward at every opportunity and encourage his technically gifted midfield to go and test Reading's defense. Wood will provide us his usual tap-in finish, and Charlie Taylor will bring his strong crossing ability to cause problems in the opposition's box.
And here’s how you’re feeling...
Either way, we’ll have lineups at 6:45pm, live-tweets at @ThruItAllLIVE, and full coverage here after the final whistle. Let’s win this one. MOT.