Leeds United were stung Saturday at Reading in their first loss in 8 games, but Tuesday evening’s trip to Brentford’s Griffin Park could provide the ointment they need to quickly remedy that ill. In this, the business end of the season, Leeds need to stay strong, keep fighting and show just what they are capable of. Hoping for just that are 1600 traveling Whites and a further 900 encamped at Elland Road for the beam back.
The Bees, meanwhile, will be buzzing due to their recent upturn in performances after their second win in succession. Accumulating a total of 7 goals in those two games has all but assured them of their Championship status for another season. Hovering exactly at mid table, in 12th, they are surprisingly only 11 points off the honey pot, the final play-off berth. That spot is currently occupied by their arch rivals Fulham.
A win against Leeds will take them to tenth.
With 21 points still to play for this season, Brentford now have Fulham in their sights. Although a tall order, there are sure to be a few more twists to this season before its end, and anything is possible. This too must be in the mindset of Garry Monk: with arguably more difficult games to negotiate on the horizon, United must start with a more attacking line up than the one that started vs. Reading to secure the 3 points.
There are sure to be changes to the team with Luke Ayling’s suspension served, Cooper possibly facing a Violent Conduct enquiry (no news yet), and the team that finished against Reading playing better than the one that started.
Brentford’s star performer
Lasse Vibe has really stepped up to the plate since the departure or Andre Gray to Premiership Burnley. Purchased for just over £1 million, the ten times capped Danish international has come into form just a the right time. He has scored 10 goals with 6 assists in 2017 making a total of 12 in 28 appearances.
Brentford romped home against Bristol City 2-0 in a display of fast-attacking football that highlights we need to get our defence right and play with our strongest back line. If Jansson’s, ahem, “injury” has cleared, he would be my choice to partner Bartley with Ayling on the right and Taylor left.
I feel Pedraza has still to learn and should be replaced by the experienced Dallas. As Vieira and Sacko are off form of late, I’d replace them with O’Kane and Roofe, with Bridcutt. Doukara should be recalled to the starting line to free up Wood to do what he does best, score goals.
This team balances pace and strength with the necessary experience to cope as the pressure mounts.
Other top 6 fixtures
Tuesday 4 April 2017
Brighton(2nd) Vs Birmingham (18th)
Derby (10th) Vs Fulham (6th)
Reading (4th) Vs Blackburn (22nd)
Wednesday 5 April 2017
Huddersfield (3rd) Vs Norwich (9th)
Newcastle (1st ) Vs Burton (19th)
Head to Head
From 15 games at Griffin Park, Brentford have won 4, Leeds 3, and the remaining 8 games drawn.
From their last 5, Leeds United’s stats are W2, D2, L1
Brentford’s stats read W3, L2, D0.
Brentford vs. Leeds United
EFL Championship Fixture
Griffin Park, Brentford, London
LUTV, BBC Radio Leeds
Tuesday, April 4th, 2017
11:45am PT / 2:45pm ET / 7:45pm BT
Leeds United’s predicted starting XI
Green, Ayling, Bartley, Jansson, Berardi, O’Kane, Bridcutt, Sacko, Hernandez, Doukara, Wood
Brentford’s predicted starting XI
Bentley, Colin, Dean, Barbet, Henry, Woods, Kerschbaumer, Jota, Sawyers, Canos, Vibe
Should we play our strongest defence, I feel we have more than enough to cope with Brentford’s attacking threat. They have goals in them, but if they score one, we’ll score two because the rest of their team don’t measure up to their attack. Boss the midfield and the points are ours. 2-1 Leeds.