These are exciting times to be a Leeds fan. We are all getting nose bleeds with our lofty league position, and confidence is running high. Chants of “Leeds are going up” rang out at Elland Road on Saturday... I hope it’s not premature. There have been plenty of other teams up where we are right now but they have fallen away, such as Barnsley, Huddersfield and our newest rivals Norwich.
You need consistency and a good squad to remain.
Monk has built a great squad, albeit a young squad which has depth yet to fulfill their potential. A good sign of that potential is the fact that any number of the younger fringe players could have slotted in last Saturday, held their own and done a job.
With Bridcutt and Hernandez yet to return, there is more to come.
Will it be on the South coast?
The Seagulls are also soaring high, but they failed last year on their quest to migrate to the Premier. That will be on their minds as they hunt for an automatic spot to avoid any repeats of last season. Without stand-out performers, to the neutral, their consistency seems to be one of their strengths.
Leeds also won’t want a repeat of last year’s display at the Amex where they fell apart whilst under Steve Evans’ stewardship. I don’t think there’s much fear of that in our current form.
This will be an interesting match and one I hope we don’t approach with too much caution. We have excellent counter-attacking players in Sacko and Roofe, but I don’t want us to sit back as we’re likely to do. Let’s take it to them.
What we know about Brighton
The Seagulls finished 3rd in the league last year losing out on automatic promotion on goal difference only. They were knocked out by Sheffield Wednesday in the play offs.
Their Manager, Chrissy Houghton, is now one of the most experienced managers in the Championship. It will be his second anniversary at Brighton later this month.
Most of their attacks come down the left wing but I know a couple guys that might want to get involved in that.
Glenn Murray returned to Brighton from Premier League Bournemouth on a season long loan. Murray is their leading scorer with 11 in 18 appearances. He’s our player to watch. (But our man Chris Wood beats that with 13 from 19 appearances.)
They have lost only 2 games in the league all season, and one of those was to league leaders Newcastle, the other a blip against Brentford. They will be a challenge.
Leeds have won 4 and lost 1 game in their last five, whilst Brighton have won 3 drawn 2. Both teams are coming in hot.
From 21 games, Brighton have won 9, Leeds 7, and 5 drawn.
Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Leeds United
EFL Championship fixture
American Express Community Stadium, Brighton
LUTV, BBC Radio Leeds
Friday, December 9, 2016
11:45am PT / 2:45pm ET / 7:45pm BT
Leeds United predicted Starting XI
Green, Ayling, Bartley, Jansson, Taylor, O’Kane, Phillips, Sacko, Doukara, Roofe, Wood
Brighton predicted starting XI
Stockdale, Bong, Dunk, Duffy, Saltor, Murphy, Sidwell, Stephens, Skalak, Baldock, Murray
This will be a hard-fought cagey affair. My heart says Leeds win, head says we draw. 1-1.