Three weeks into 2017, three weeks into the January window, and Leeds United have three wins and zero losses (and zero new additions to the squad). That’s fine by most fans, as the winning ways of 2016 have continued into the new year, and the club sits in third place in the Championship table.
But what will the next ten days hold? There are three more matches in January: tonight at Barnsley, Wednesday against Nottingham Forest, and Sunday the 29th at Sutton United in the FA Cup.
There have also been some transfer rumours in the last week, though nothing concrete enough to assume it’s really happening. Fabian Delph can’t escape the comeback rumour, and our Joshua Gilbert wrote that while it’s a longshot, he could see that happening. He also wrote about Chris Wood’s potential departure, saying, “nah.”
But back to the pitch, Leeds play Barnsley tonight and James Mahoney wrote a full preview of the match earlier in the week. Anatoliy Ivantchouk gave us his 3 potential MOTM nominees earlier this morning, and we’ll be updating this gamethread throughout the next few hours with any new info that comes in.
With Brighton winning yesterday and Newcastle facing Rotherham today, it’s likely we can’t gain any ground on automatic promotion, but spots 3-6 are as tight as can be, and Fulham, Derby, Preston, and yes, Barnsley, are all waiting for one of the play-off sides to slip up. Let’s not be the club that does that tonight.
Looking forward to this one, the last eight days have felt like twenty. I’ll be live-commenting this game instead of live-tweeting, so come back during the match to follow the action down below, and join in on the conversation. MOT.
Barnsley vs. Leeds United
EFL Championship fixture
Sky Sports 1, beIN Sports Connect, LUTV, BBC Radio Leeds, International Listings
Saturday, January 21, 2017
09:30am PT / 12:30am ET / 5:30pm BT
Leeds United starting XI
Green, Coyle, Ayling, Bartley, Berardi, Vieira, Bridcutt, Hernandez, Roofe, Doukara, Wood
Subs: Silvestri, Phillips, Mowatt, Denton, Dallas, O'Kane, Antonsson
Barnsley starting XI
Davies, Bree, Jones, Roberts, MacDonald, Scowen, Hourihane, Watkins, Kent, Bradshaw, Williams
Subs: Townsend, White, Jackson, Williams, Moncur, Hammill, Payne
Johnny Wakefield: 3-0 Leeds. We’re good. I’m tired of typing simply that, but I can’t imagine us losing to anyone these days. What is this feeling?!? Confidence? Yeah, that’s it. Barnsley are also tired and struggling right now. And I’m confident in Garry Monk’s Leeds United. Beautiful. MOT.
Ben Mallis: 2-1 Leeds. Barnsley’s front line could cause issues for United with Pontus Jansson still serving his suspension, but I expect a familiar performance from Monk’s men. Leeds will settle into the game and collect another valuable three points to keep pace with the top 2.
James Mahoney: 2-0 Leeds. Leeds have the benefit of an 8-day rest, and Barnsley had the pleasure of playing last Saturday and playing another 120 mins on Tuesday evening to no avail. I predict that the Barnsley players won’t have enough quality or energy to keep up with this top Leeds side, and Leeds will ease to a victory on Saturday evening. MOT
Sean Ryan: 2-0 Leeds. I don't need to give reasons why they'll win today. They are the Chosen Ones. They'll do what needs to be done.
Joshua Gilbert: 3-2 Leeds. I expect a tough game here today, but I think it's one that Monk is going to win. I expect Chris Wood to score a brace today and I think despite giving up 2 goals, Monk will be happy with a good team performance.
Anatoliy Ivantchouk: 2-0 Leeds. Barnsley is weak in the air and Leeds just happen to be experts at attacking via aerial bombs (aka crosses). Look for at least one goal here to come from a header. Bartley shouldn't have a problem marshaling the defensive line to keep the clean sheet. Wood and Hernandez to score.