Match: Leeds United v Oxford United
Date : Saturday, 29 July 2017
Time: 15.00 BST
Venue: Elland Road, Leeds
Streaming: Streaming available for LUTV subscribers with a small fee (£1.99)
Leeds look to end their preseason friendly schedule with a good showing at home against Oxford United. Oxford, who play in League One, look to be in the mix for promotion to the Championship, so this will be a good chance for the U’s to prove themselves after just missing out on the playoffs in 8th place. Last year’s FA Trophy runners-up will be challenged, as strikers Conor McAleny and Toni Martinez both left after loan spells. McAleny, who had been loan from Everton, made a switch to Fleetwood Town, who finished 3rd in League One and lost in the playoffs, while Martinez has gone back to parent club West Ham United, although most figure that the striker will go back out on loan this season.
I'll be forever grateful to everyone at Leeds for the affection and support they offered me right from day one. 2/2— Pep Clotet (@pepclotet) June 30, 2017
The biggest story line heading into the match is the return of Oxford United manager Pep Clotet. Clotet spent last year as the assistant manager to Garry Monk, and was quite popular with the fans and the players. After Monk left to go to Middlesbrough, many people were openly campaigning for him to be given the chance to be the manager at Leeds, and while we at TIAT weren’t necessarily sold, , we do wish him all the best at his new gig. Kemar Roofe will also feature against his old club, as he was sold to Leeds United during the previous summer transfer window.
Expect to see a fairly strong lineup from Leeds in the match, as Thomas Christiansen is looking for players to step up and make the case that the should be included in the starting XI against Bolton. While the biggest question mark might be the defence, the midfield at Leeds is hardly settled either, with a number of choices that could be made depending on the situation and what the manager values in the central midfield pair, defensive responsibility or creative playmaking. Goalkeeper might also be up in the air, as new recruit Felix Wiedwald looks to grab the starting spot from former England number one Rob Green. Chris Wood at striker is likely the only position that is a guarantee for both the friendly and the opening day match at Bolton Wanderers.
Attendance should be good at the final preseason game, as the excitement surrounding the club is increasing as the fans look forward to seeing the new recruits play at home. Fans under 16 can also attend for free with an adult, making this a great way to introduce young fans to a game at Elland Road.
And yeah, this is the first match that LUTV will be charging a pay-per-view price, and yeah, it’s a little rich for the club to be charging £1.99 as LUTV hasn’t been able to handle a live broadcast so far this preseason, but the price is pretty reasonable. QPR is charging their fans £3.99, and while the “proceeds” go to charity, it’s still twice as much to watch a friendly. So overseas fans, perhaps we’ll get to see the game live on a legit stream instead of some dodgy stream that could land us in hot water.
Anyway, the season is almost here! MOT