It's beyond doubt at this point: Charlton Athletic have been poor this season, scoring 10 goals less than Leeds and conceding a total of 76. They were finally relegated on April 19 after their nil-nil draw against fellow strugglers Bolton wasn't enough to keep them in the Championship.
Football can be a heartless game and Charlton shouldn't expect any sympathy from the Whites on the pitch. This is Leeds United's last home game of the season, tickets have been selling well and a large turn-out is expected from the home fans. Head coach Steve Evans will want to put on a display for the fans he has come to admire with a long overdue emphatic home win against a side who cannot score or defend in equal measure.
The only thing Leeds fans will empathise with Charlton is their current turmoil, which is highlighted in this week's Leeds Against The World Q&A. Their trigger-happy owner, Roland Duchâtelet, who used to own Belgian side Standard Liege, has been the subject of protests by fans who do not like the way Charlton is run. Duchatelet was equally unpopular at Standard and suffered protests there prior to his exit. He brought to Charlton former Standard Liege Manager Jose Riga for a second time, and while Riga kept the Addicks up in 2014, he was unable to perform that same feat after re-joining in January this year. Riga's stats from 18 games: he has won 4, drawn 5 and lost 9 games.
For this game, Leeds will be without Gaetano Berardi, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury last time out against Hull. Additionally, with Doukara still banned, Steve Evans may continue with his promise to give more game time to Leeds' up-and-coming stars. Lewie Coyle should come in for Berardi and Lee Erwin for Doukara. Alex Mowatt also returns to the squad after serving his 3 match ban.
Charlton will be without on-loan Arsenal star Yaya Sonogo, but Chris Solly returns.
A much-improved Leeds United have suffered only 1 defeat in their last 5, with 1 draw and 3 wins. They have scored 9 and conceded 6.
Charlton have drawn 2 and lost 3 of their last 5. Scoring only 2 goals they have conceded 5.
There have been 25 meetings between the two clubs at Elland Road. The Whites have been victors on 12 occasions, the Addicks have won 5 and the remaining 8 have been drawn.
Leeds player to watch
Jordan Botaka has not featured as much as we expected since his switch to Elland Road from Dutch side Excelsior. Perhaps his style of play is a luxury that Leeds couldn't afford to risk showcasing in the season United have had. Having expressed his desire to keep working hard in training to gain a place in the squad (and Saturday's opposition not expected to offer that much to worry a resurgent Leeds side), maybe this is a game he deserves to start. The 22-year-old DR Congo international has featured in Leeds's last two games as a sub, providing an assist for Stuart Dallas in the 2-2 draw v Hull.
Charlton player to watch
Johann Berg Gudmundsson is a 25 year old former Icelandic international. He has made the second-most appearances for Charlton this season at 41 in the league. He is their leading scorer with 5 and has the most assists with 10. The winger joined Charlton in 2014 from Dutch side AZ.
Leeds United v Charlton Athletic
Football League Championship
Elland Road, Leeds
BBC Radio Leeds, LUTV
Saturday, April 30, 2016
7:00a PT / 10:00a ET / 3:00p BT
Leeds United's probable lineup
Silvestri, Coyle, Bamba, Cooper, Taylor, Bridcutt, Diagouraga, Dallas, Cook, Erwin, Wood
Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Bellusci, Adeyemi, Mowatt, Murphy, Carayol, Botaka
Charlton Athletic's probable lineup
Pope, Motta, Fanni, Teixeira, Fox, Berg Gudmundsson, Diarra, Cousins, Lookman, Harriott, Vetokele
Subs: Yun Suk-young, Jackson, Makienok, Bergdich, Solly, Lennon, Mitov
I've predicted too many draws this season. This game is surely a win and I'm predicting a clean sheet as well. 2-0 Leeds.
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