On Saturday, we welcome back former Leeds United manager Brian McDermott. After a stint as a scout at Premier League Arsenal he returned to management where he made his managerial debut, at Reading FC. Against the odds, McDermott previously took Reading to the pinnacle of English football, the Premier League.
He was always against the odds at Leeds United, and was infamously sacked by Massimo Cellino who had not yet took full legal ownership of the club. Re-instated a few days later, the writing was on the wall for McDermott, but he continued in the post with dignity, in a difficult time, as United changed ownership from GFH to Cellino. The way that he continued his managerial duties in that period of instability earned him the respect of many Whites supporters, which other recent and subsequent Managers (and there's been a few) have failed to do.
Since re-joining the Royals in December 2015, McDermott has won 9, drawn 7 and lost 9, drawing the ire of some supporters, as Dan of The Tilehurst End mentioned in Friday morning's Leeds Against The World.
He brings a capable squad with a mixture of youth and experience containing Welsh Internationals Chris Gunter and Hal Robson-Kanu, former Irish Internationals Paul McShane (Captain), Stephen Quinn and Simon Cox, and American International Danny Williams. On loan from Chelsea is Vice-Captain and Jamaican international Michael Hector.
It has been almost 2 years since McDermott was last at Eland Road, and Leeds United have not progressed. McDermott left the club at the end of 2013/14 season with Leeds in 15th position in the table. Today, 5 managers later, Leeds still occupy 15th position and Cellino's promises of Leeds returning to the Premiership by 2016 and buying back Elland Road have not materialised.
It is no surprise then that Elland Road is seeing ‘Time to Go Massimo' protests. Saturday will see a protest march from the City to the stadium.
If one of the 2,000 buyers doesn't come forward with their £5m here's the route we'll be taking tomorrow #LUFC pic.twitter.com/M6Zt9C2oU2— WACCOE (@WaccoeOnline) April 15, 2016
On the field, Leeds stopped Birmingham City midweek at St Andrews and should be favourites to overcome McDermott's Royals to leap frog them in the table, even without Alex Mowatt, who is suspended due to a ridiculous decision by the referee at the end of Tuesday's win.
Leeds United's last five league games break down as follows: 3 losses,1 draw and 1 win. They have scored 5 and conceded 8.
In their last five, Reading has 2 losses, 1 draw and 2 wins. McDermott's men have scored 5 goals as well, conceding only 6.
From 11 games at Elland Road, Leeds has taken the maximum points on 4 occasions while Reading has won 4. The teams have drawn 3 times.
Leeds player to watch
Stuart Dallas's confidence will be sky-high having bagged a brace against Birmingham, doubling his tally for the season to four goals. He has 5 assists to his record this season, and I expect him to add further Saturday.
Reading player to watch
On Loan from Watford, 23 year old Matej Vydra has been capped 16 times for the Czech Republic. This striker could cause the Leeds defence serious problems. He has scored 9 League and Cup goals with 3 assists.
Leeds United v Reading FC
Football League Championship
Elland Road, Leeds
BBC Radio Leeds, LUTV
Saturday, April 16, 2016
7:00a PT / 10:00a ET / 3:00p BT
Leeds United's probable lineup
Silvestri, Berardi, Bamba, Cooper, Taylor, Diagouraga, Murphy, Cook, Dallas, Antenucci, Wood
Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Coyle, Bellusci, Adeyemi, Phillips, Bridcutt, Carayol
Reading's probable lineup
Al Habsi, Gunter, McShane, Cooper, Obita, Norwood, Williams, Piazon, Vydra, Quinn, Cox
Subs: Bond, Taylor, Evans, Hector, Rakels, McCleary, John
Leeds should have this one... but a clean sheet? I say 2-1.
Again, make sure you read our Q&A with Reading blog The Tilehurst End before this game. Vote in the poll below too. And do you disagree with my prediction? Let me know in the comments below.