It’s getting down to the end of the season for Leeds United now that the final international break is over. The club has eight games remaining and are one point back from the automatic promotion spots after losing to Sheffield United in the last match at Elland Road. To get get back into the race for one of the automatic promotion spots, Leeds need to beat Millwall on Saturday.
Bielsa has full confidence in BPF stepping in for the suspended Casilla. Roofe will be ready for Birmingham. Jansson & Forshaw seem fit. #lufc— Adam Pope (@apopey) March 28, 2019
Leeds are about as fit as they have been all season going into the Millwall match, with only first choice starting XI player out being striker Kemar Roofe. And as important as Roofe has been this year, Patrick Bamford was the big summer transfer window acquisition and is also a pretty good striker as well.
Pontus Jansson being fit for the Millwall clash might be more important than Roofe being fit anyway, as the Sweden international skipped Euro qualifications in order to get fit in a more timely fashion. Jansson provides aerial cover in the back, and while Bailey Peacock-Farrell is covering for the suspended Kiko Casilla, his strength isn’t coming out for crosses, so having Jansson and Cooper guarding the backline will be critical.
Beating Millwall will put the club on the right path for promotion for two reasons. First, Leeds have almost always bounced back from losses with a brilliant performance that has usually carried over for a few matches. After the loss at the Hawthorns to West Bromwich Albion, Leeds went on a tear, winning seven straight matches. And after losing to Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road, the club responded with the best match of the season, a brilliant victory over West Brom. It doesn’t have to be beautiful, but a win over Millwall will stop any doubts over if the players are “running out of energy” and will start to lose down the stretch.
Secondly, a good Leeds victory will expunge the terrible gut-punch of a loss at Elland Road last season. Leeds were down to 10 men and down 2-0 at half-time, only to come back to lead the match 3-2 going into the final few minutes of the match, only to have Millwall draw level in the 89th minute and win the match 3-4 in stoppage time. The loss back in January seemed to seal the fate of both Thomas Christiansen and the team, as neither looked the same afterwards. A chance to put that awful loss behind this club with some new friends and a much better manager in charge will do loads to keep everyone believing in this team.
Also, it would be nice to stick one to Millwall and Steve Morison, wouldn’t it?