Rejoice football fans, we made it! The end of 2016 is upon us and Leeds United have one final test before the calendar year disappears into the abyss.
A trip to Villa Park is how Garry Monk and his charges will celebrate the new year. United will take on Aston Villa in a clash between two sides sitting inside the top 10 of the league.
Monday’s victory over Preston North End solidified United’s place in the top six for now, but Villa are only six points behind Leeds and this makes today’s game another vital bout in the fight for the playoffs. The Championship table remains tight and games between two contenders like this carry extra weight for all involved.
Our Matt Robinson completed a wonderful match preview, and Anatoliy Ivantchouk covered off on his likely man of the match candidates yesterday. James Mahoney will be on the live tweets at @ThruItAllLIVE and there will be full post match coverage after the final whistle.
Strap yourselves in, enjoy the final 90 minutes of Leeds United football for 2016 and let the TIAT team take you into 2017, the year a certain Yorkshire footballing giant will return to the Premier League (here’s hoping!). MOT
Aston Villa vs. Leeds United
EFL Championship fixture
Villa Park, Birmingham
Sky Sports 1, beIN Sports, LUTV, BBC Radio Leeds, International Listings
Thursday, December 29, 2016
11:45am PT / 2:45pm ET / 7:45pm BT
Leeds United predicted starting XI
Green, Ayling, Bartley, Jansson, Berardi, Phillips, Bridcutt, Sacko, Roofe, Dallas, Doukara
Aston Villa predicted starting XI
Bunn, Hutton, Chester, Baker, Amavi, Jedinak, Gardner, Bacuna, Adomah, McCormack, Kodija
James Mahoney: 0-0. Aston Villa have been in decent form as of late and as the home side will be expecting to win but Leeds will be able to control their attacking threat. I think the game will be tight with few chances and will finish scoreless for a good point to finish December. MOT
Ben Mallis: 2-1 Leeds. It’s almost impossible to doubt this team at the moment. Villa have been playing well of late and I predict we will see their best effort. But here is the dirty secret all United fans think yet won’t admit: Leeds are finally a quality football side again and capable of beating anyone in this league. Roofe to score the winner and finish the best year Elland Road has witnessed this decade. MOT