February 29th, 2016 was probably the worst showing from a Leeds United team since I started following the club. Winless on the month, Steve Evans’ side took a trip to the South Coast to play Brighton and Hove Albion, a club rolling through the Championship on their way to a third place finish, barely missing automatic promotion and losing in the playoff.
The result was absolutely dreadful.
It was so bad, we skipped the recap here at Through It All Together and wrote a “state of the club” piece instead. Leeds United allowed four goals in the first half, and essentially didn’t bother coming out for the second half, letting Brighton pass the ball around for the final 45. I’ve never been so disgusted watching my team play.
The 4-0 defeat was definitely the low point in a mediocre 2015/16 season.
Today, December 9th, 2016, feels like we’re living in an entirely different universe. Garry Monk’s Whites are riding high after thumping Aston Villa over the weekend and putting in a good showing against Liverpool. Leeds sit at fourth place in the Championship table with a chance to jump to third tonight over Tuesday’s opponent, Reading, who play Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow.
Cellino is back in the news, but we have a chance to erase those February ghosts tonight, so we’re going to try to ignore the Italian as much as possible. Instead, Anthony Linley has his preview of tonight’s match, Anatoliy Ivantchouk has his look at three potential MOTM candidates, and this gamethread will be updated with any other info we can find. We’ll also have a “Quick Recap” minutes after the match and a more in-depth “Three Points” tomorrow morning.
And if you’re looking for more to read, Luke Ayling won our Reader’s Choice POTM for November, Charlie Taylor won our staff POTM, and we took a look at what positions we could strengthen in January in our most recent Weekly Wednesday Roundtable.
Enjoy the match tonight, let’s hope we can enjoy the weekend with a win. At the very least, we won’t lose 4-0. Ayling, Bartsson, and Taylor would never let that happen. MOT.
Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Leeds United
EFL Championship fixture
American Express Community Stadium, Brighton
Sky Sports, beIN Sports, LUTV, BBC Radio Leeds, International Listings
Friday, December 9, 2016
11:45am PT / 2:45pm ET / 7:45pm BT
Leeds United starting XI
Green, Ayling, Bartley, Jansson, Taylor, O’Kane, Phillips, Sacko, Doukara, Roofe, Wood
Subs: Silvestri, Cooper, Berardi, Dallas, Grimes, Mowatt, Antonsson
Brighton starting XI
Stockdale, Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Pocognoli, Knockaert, Stephens, Norwood, Murphy, Baldock, Murray
Subs: Maenpaa, Goldson, Hunt, Sidwell, March, Skalak, Hemed
Johnny Wakefield: 0-1 Leeds. I think we have enough evidence to know how Monk and company will play this one. We’ll see Brighton dominate possession in the first half, but the Leeds back line will hold and we’ll enter the half scoreless. Then Leeds will find one late in the second half, and we walk out of Brighton with three points and third place. Roofe with the goal. Confidence in abundance. MOT
Anthony Linley: 1-1 draw. This will be a hard-fought cagey affair. My heart says Leeds win, head says we draw.
Ben Mallis: 0-0 draw. A point would be a great result. Brighton looks a tad overrated for mine, but their results are hard to ignore. Such lofty goal difference is evidence of a side who has an advantage over United. I expect Monk to sit back even more than usual and absorb the very best that the Seagulls (sidenote – this is a contender for the lamest nickname in all of sports) can muster. A lone goal would be enough but I don’t expect one tonight.
James Mahoney: 0-2 Leeds. I know Brighton are a good side and I know they are 2nd in the league. However, I just have this feeling of confidence about the team at the minute and I honestly believe we will take the three points tonight. The game will play out similar to the Villa game, a cagey affair throughout the first half. Leeds will then take advantage in the 2nd half and score two and take the points back to Elland Road. Chris Wood with both goals. MOT.