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Leeds United at Sutton United FA Cup preview: Whites look to avoid potential upset and advance

Leeds travel to non-league Sutton hoping to progress to the FA Cup 5th Round for the 3rd time in 5 years on Sunday.

Sutton United Media Access Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Leeds United’s FA Cup journey continues on Sunday as they look to manoeuvre around a potential upset against a Sutton United side with nothing to lose. I expect Garry Monk will make wholesale changes to the XI, with youth once again given a chance.

Lewie Coyle and Kalvin Philips are likely to start, and hopefully Mallik Wilks and Tyler Denton will get some time to showcase their quality as well. After the loss of Alex Mowatt on Friday, let’s hope the Whites show what the next generation of young talent has to offer.

The youngsters will need to be focused and not take anything for granted against a Sutton team full of confidence and looking to make FA Cup history.

For me, there are three key points to the cup tie at Sutton:

Scoring Early

This was something I mentioned as a point against Cambridge. There, we didn’t get the early goal and that ultimately made the game a bit more difficult. We need to drain the confidence from the Sutton players quickly. An early goal will set the standard and allow Leeds to dictate the game throughout.

Patience is a Virtue

I expect Leeds will see a lot of the ball tomorrow as Sutton will get men behind it and try to counter or score from a set piece. The Leeds players need to be patient and use the ball wisely by just keeping calm and playing their wonderful passing game. The quality can then shine through and superiority will prevail.

Artificial Turf Not an Excuse

Since Sutton made it through to face Leeds, there have been constant comments made about the artificial turfed pitch at Sutton and how this may be the downfall for the Leeds players because they are used to playing on proper pitches. Well, for me, professional footballers should be able to play on any pitch regardless of turf, condition or dimensions. It seemed that people were giving us an excuse if we lost before we even play, but there can’t be any excuses - Leeds should be doing the job tomorrow.


What we know about Sutton United

Sutton United currently ply their trade in the National League (Conference). Sutton achieved promotion to the National League last season after winning the National League South. They are currently placed at 15th in the league after 28 games, 8 points away from the drop. Sutton beat AFC Wimbledon 3-1 in a 3rd round replay to get the chance to face the Whites. Sutton have previous ‘giant-killing’ experience in the FA; they famously knocked out a top-flight Coventry side in the 1989 FA Cup.

Form

Leeds United: W-W-W-L-W

Leeds have been in decent form recently, with 4 wins in the last 5 games in all competitions - The only defeat coming at Oakwell against Barnsley last weekend.

Sutton United: L-D-W-D-W

Sutton’s form has been a little indifferent in recent weeks, having only won 3 of their last 10 league games. The London side have found better form in cup competitions, perhaps focusing there. As well as reaching the 4th round of the FA cup, on Tuesday, they beat Worthing 3-2 to advance to the last 16 of the Buildbase FA Trophy.

Head-to-Head

Leeds and Sutton have only played once before, 36 years ago in the same stage of the competition. 14,000 fans filled Gander Green Lane to watch Don Revie’s Leeds United play non-league Sutton United. Allan Clarke scored 4 and Peter Lorimer scored 2 as Leeds won the game 6-0.

WHAT

Sutton United vs. Leeds United

FA Cup Round Four

WHERE

Gander Green Lane (Borough Sports Ground), London Borough of Sutton

BT Sport, LUTV, BBC Radio Leeds, International Listings

WHEN

Sunday, January 29, 2017

6:00am PT / 9:00am ET / 2:00pm BT

WHO

Leeds United predicted starting XI

Silvestri, Coyle, Ayling, Jansson, Denton, Vieira, Phillips, Doukara, Roofe, Grimes, Antonsson

Sutton United predicted starting XI

Worner, Downer, Beckwith, Collins, Amankwaah, Deacon, Bailey, Eastmond, Gomis, Biamou, Tubbs

ODDS

Leeds 4/6

Draw 29/10

Sutton 4/1

PREDICTION

3-0 Leeds. I believe Leeds will avoid defeat tomorrow afternoon. Leeds will be better prepared than they were against Cambridge in the last round and will control proceedings and progress comfortably to the fifth round. MOT.