There are only a few hours left now until the first game of February, the first game post-Deadline Day, the first game of our end-of-the-season promotion run. Leeds United made moves yesterday, acquiring two young, talented, fast wingers to boost the attack, but will they be enough? Pedraza and Barrow won’t be ready for tonight’s action, but they’ll be eligible for the 18 on Sunday. Before then: Blackburn Rovers.
Our newest staff writer Patrick Laredo wrote up the full preview of this match yesterday, and you should read it before the game. Leeds has beaten Rovers twice this season, both games coming on Tuesdays in September, so Blackburn will be looking for revenge today at Ewood.
Will we let them take it? Or will Leeds get back on the winning track after a disappointing, deflating loss at Sutton United? I’m of the mind that the FA Cup was a distraction to our ultimate goal of the play-off spots (or even automatic promotion), so I wasn’t too upset by Sunday’s defeat. That said, if we can’t win tonight in decisive fashion, we might look back on Sunday as a momentum-killer. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.
We’ll have updates throughout the evening here in the GameThread, but we’re going to go back to the Live-Tweets over at @ThruItAllLIVE for tonight’s match. Check back here for updated lineups, predictions, and anything else we come across before 7:45pm. MOT.
Blackburn Rovers vs. Leeds United
EFL Championship fixture
LUTV, BBC Radio Leeds, International Listings
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
11:45am PT / 2:45pm ET / 7:45pm BT
Leeds United starting XI
Green, Ayling, Bartley, Jansson, Berardi, O'Kane, Bridcutt, Sacko, Roofe, Dallas, Wood
Subs: Silvestri, Coyle, Vieira, Hernandez, Phillips, Doukara, Antonsson
Blackburn Rovers starting XI
Steele, Nyambe, Greer, Lenihan, Williams, Bennett, Lowe, Feeney, Mulgrew, Graham, Gallagher
Subs: Raya, Joao, Guthrie, Tomlinson, Mahoney, Brown, Conway
Johnny Wakefield: 1-0 Leeds. I think we beat Rovers on the strength of our defence. They’re not good enough, even at home. Wood gets another goal and we get our mojo back. MOT.
James Mahoney: 1-0 Leeds. I think Leeds will still have a hangover from Sunday's result. However, the lack of quality Blackburn have within their team will mean Leeds still take the points in a shaky but effective performance. MOT
Jack Dudley: 2-1 Leeds. Can see Monk getting the dressing room back in order after the weekends farce. With a full strength side at his disposal, and with Reading winning and Brighton visiting Huddersfield tomorrow, three points are essential here. Sacko, Dallas, Roofe all now have competition for their places, too.
Sean Ryan: 2-0 Leeds. Who really gave a f*ck about the FA Cup? It sucked to lose to Sutton, but it will benefit us in the long run. A win tonight is needed to put us back in contention for the top 2.
Mike Stehlik: 3-0 Leeds. Leeds will be looking for a statement win to show that Sunday's nightmare against Sutton was more of a calculated fail rather than a colossal screwup and that they're still one of the most dominant teams in the Championship. Potentially relegation bound Blackburn provide the best remedy to get over the cup match, and our boys will have a dominant performance away from home. MOT
Patrick Laredo: 2-1 Leeds. Blackburn are looking for a win to get them out of the relegation zone: their win over Blackpool in the FA cup may give them a slight confidence boost too. Saying that, Blackburn have struggled defensively this season, and with Mulgrew potentially still out through injury, this will only compound Blackburn's defensive problems. Leeds have already beaten Blackburn twice this year, so they should have the mental edge over them. Having a large portion of the first team getting rested over the weekend should give Leeds an even bigger advantage. I expect a tightly contested game, but Leeds win it. MOT.