Aston Villa. A club that hadn’t seen the lower divisions of English football since 1988. A club that fell from the Premier League in 2016. A club we’d like to leave behind in 2017.
The Villans march into Elland Road tonight confident and more rested than Leeds, having not played in the EFL Cup on Tuesday. Their last match was a 3-1 over Cardiff, and they’re unbeaten in their last seven, with the last loss coming against Preston North End on the first of October. In that stretch, they’ve also drawn top-six clubs Birmingham and Brighton. They’re good right now, without a doubt.
Leeds are also playing well, as shown in a brave display against Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday. Chris Wood is providing all the firepower on the scoresheet, but Kemar Roofe and Souleymane Doukara have woken up to provide support for Wood, and Charlie Taylor and Luke Ayling have provided it from the back. Pontus Jansson is expected to be back in the back line with Kyle Bartley, and the rest of the lineup is up in the air due to injuries to Eunan O’Kane and Liam Bridcutt (who is still out).
We’ll have the lineup here in our gamethread as soon as it comes out, but for now, read Anthony Linley’s full preview, remind yourself of how great the EFL Cup was with James Mahoney’s article, and read Ben Mallis’ November Review to get ready for a fun December. And be sure to follow us on Twitter for Live Tweets, Podcasts, and all our coverage here at Through It All Together.
Looking forward to this one. After City-Chelsea and Barcelona-Real Madrid today, we’re in for a third exciting match. I love Saturdays. Join us in the comments below; here’s all the info you need, followed by predictions at the end. MOT.
Leeds United vs. Aston Villa
EFL Championship fixture
Elland Road, Leeds
Sky Sports, beIN Sports, LUTV, BBC Radio Leeds, International Listings
Saturday, December 3, 2016
09:30am PT / 12:30pm ET / 5:30pm BT
Leeds United Starting XI
Green, Ayling, Bartley, Jansson, Taylor, Vieira, Phillips, Sacko, Doukara, Roofe, Wood
Subs: Silvestri, Denton, Berardi, Grimes, Mowatt, Dallas, Antonsson
Aston Villa starting XI
Gollini, Hutton, Elphick, Chester, Amavi, Westwood, Jedinak, Gardner, Adomah, Kodjia, Gestede
Subs: Sarkic, Ayew, Cissokho, Bacuna, Tshibola, Grealish, Agbonlahor
Johnny Wakefield: 2-0 Leeds. We’re good right now, and hopefully riding high off a Liverpool game that gave everyone something to get excited about. I think we’ll avoid the Villa sucker punch, even though they’re good right now too. Elland Road will be the difference. Doukara and Roofe with the goals.
Anthony Linley: 2-1 Leeds. We have put on good displays recently against top clubs without anything to show. We need to go one better and achieve a positive result on Saturday evening. Rob Green has made errors on the goal line and our defending outside the box has gifted clubs opportunities. Sort those out and we can take all three points.
Ben Mallis: 1-0 Leeds. After the thrill of Tuesday’s trip to Anfield, I am a little scared of a let down today. Aston Villa is unbeaten over their past seven contests and head to Elland Road in great form. The return of Pontus to the starting XI will be a much needed boost, and United will use a familiar formula to take the three points.
James Mahoney: 1-1 draw. Both sides are in good form and will cancel each other out. I think Villa will take an early lead and after a decent start, Leeds will get back into it in the 2nd half and grab in the equaliser on the hour mark. Leeds will continue to push for a winner but in the end they will come up short. MOT
Matt Robinson: 2-1 Leeds. This is gonna be a really tough game and my head says a draw will be a good result. My heart says win though, every damn time. Steve Bruce has worked wonders since coming in and I can't see us keeping a clean sheet. Should have plenty of attacking threat at home though. Enough to see us win it anyway.
Sean Ryan: 2-1 Leeds. I'm still not convinced of Leeds keeping a clean sheet, simply because it's Leeds. But after the display against Liverpool and the momentum that they're bringing to the game I reckon Leeds can put a stop to Villa’s unbeaten run. Chris Wood to score first.
Joshua Gilbert: 2-2 draw. The atmosphere will be great but Villa is a good team. I think one or two turnovers will cost us the game late on, and we won't have enough time to try and get the full 3 points.
Anatoliy Ivantchouk: 2-0 Leeds. They are due for a dominating performance. The Whites will have a point to prove after an unconvincing win last time out.
And here’s how you’re feeling before the game...