As the curtain falls on another season for Leeds United, and as we rue what might have been, we owe it our boys to get behind them for the game on Sunday at DW Stadium.
As Wigan Athletic wave goodbye to the Championship, it could be said that there hasn’t been anything “athletic” about their season. Wigan have only won 10 games in the league, scoring just 39 goals and conceding 56.
Leeds supporters on the other hand can be proud of their team and how they fought on to the end. Last week’s second half battling performance against Norwich (albeit after giving themselves a mountain to climb) is just one example. Add to that the fact that many of the squad made their Championship debuts this season, and a victory against the Latics may (depending on the other results) see us miss out on the play-offs on goal difference alone.
The young Whites have set a high bar for themselves for next season.
In fact, all is not yet lost.... If my calculations are correct, and Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United both win 7-0, then the last spot is ours!
Pie in the sky? Well, the odds on that double are 63000/1. Worth a quid?
But seriously, I don’t have to ask Leeds fans to get behind their team. If we got points for our support then we would have been Champions by Christmas. Leeds United was allocated 4300 tickets for this match and they sold out weeks ago. Wembley and the Premiership will miss us.
For those fans traveling by rail, engineering works may cause disruption and fans are advised to check the information on the official site.
The Final Starting XI
Garry Monk will keep us guessing on his team selection for Sunday, but I’d dearly love a combination of attack-minded players with a touch of exuberant youth. With that in mind (and the 7 goal requirement), my lineup would be to give Mallik Wilks a start alongside Chris Wood in a 4-4-2.
To provide the ammo, I’d put Roofe and Sacko on the flanks, with Vieira and O’Kane as the CM pairing.
The back four has an enforced change this week due to Jansson’s suspension. Therefore for me, it’s an opportunity to bring in Tyler Denton as left back and Lewie Coyle on the right, Luke Ayling preferred over Liam Cooper to partner with Kyle Bartley in the centre in front of Rob Green.
Okay, this fixture is not a FIFA 2017 fixture, but with the exception of Sacko and Bartley, these players are actually ours and most of them will be featured next season, so I’d like to see how they go (having been set my 7 nil target).
For Leeds, Silvestri will not feature after his knee operation, Liam Bridcutt has achilles trouble, and Pontus Janson serves the first of a three game ban (but Cooper is back from his).
For Wigan, Shaun MacDonald sadly suffered a broken leg against Reading (we wish him well) and joins a long list of Buxton, Grigg, Gilbey , Kellet, Daniel, James and Haugaard.
At Wigan, there has been a total of 5 meetings. Leeds have won 2 and drawn 2 with Wigan victors once.
Sadly, from their last five, Leeds stats read W1 D2 L2.
League One-bound Wigan Athletic has better stats: W2 D1 L2
EFL Championship fixture
Wigan Athletic vs. Leeds United
DW Stadium, Wigan
LUTV, BBC Radio Leeds, International Listings
Sunday, May 7th, 2017
4:00am PT / 7:00am ET / 12:00pm BT
Leeds United’s predicted starting XI
Green, Ayling, Bartley, Cooper, Berardi, O’Kane, Vieira, Sacko, Hernandez, Roofe, Wood
Wigan Athletic’s predicted starting XI
Gilks, Hanson, Burke, Morgan, Burn, Warnock, Jacobs, Power, Perkins, Tunnicliffe, Powell
I predict Monk will make some changes for this one, some enforced and some loanees may not feature, although he will want to finish the season with a victory. Despite my best wishes for a youthful side full of attacking verve (and 7 goals) I feel he will still play it safe at the back and again rely on getting the ball to Wood. On the whole, this has worked throughout the season and United will be too strong for a demoralised Latics. Two goals will secure victory for the Whites.
Leeds 2-0 (Doukara and Wood). MOT.