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Leeds United vs. Burnley

Elland Road

Monday 2nd January 2012


Taking the Leeds

The games are coming thick and fast over the festive period. Next up and our first of 2012, it`s Leeds United at Elland Road on Bank Holiday Monday.

The Pre-amble:

The Clarets are riding high at the moment after seeing out 2011 with a bang. Two home victories against Doncaster and Hull City over the festive season saw Burnley move up the table to 7th spot just three points away from the play-offs spots.

Burnley have won six of their last seven games and have not been defeated now in three matches. It is also pretty incredible to record the fact that we have now kept three consecutive clean sheets. So can we continue this remarkable turnaround in fortune? Well we certainly face a tough challenge next with the Clarets travelling to Elland Road to play Leeds United on Bank Holiday Monday.

Leeds, though have suffered a recent slump in form and have dropped down the table. Simon Grayson`s men were heavily defeated 4-1 away to Yorkshire rivals, Barnsley in their last game on New Year`s Eve at Oakwell. That was actually their third consecutive defeat and they have only managed to pick up one point in their last four games. They have now dropped out of the play-offs positions and are currently in 10th spot. They are however still only one point behind the Clarets and four behind 6th placed Hull so they will be keen to get their promotion challenge back on track. Leeds home form also makes for dismal reading with only one win now in their last six games with two draws and three defeats.

Burnley picked up their first double of the season at their first attempt against Hull at Turf Moor on Saturday now they have to avoid a double against them at the first attempt! Leeds beat the Clarets 2-1 at Turf Moor in November last year so it would be nice to exact some revenge. Come on you Clarets, win this and we could be in the play-offs spots!

Leeds United Team News:

Leeds have just completed the signing of 20 year old Tottenham winger Andros Townsend on loan until the end of the season and he is expected to go straight into the starting eleven and make his debut against the Clarets.

United defender Tom Lees is also expected to return. He missed Saturday's 4-1 defeat at Barnsley due to concussion sustained at Derby on Boxing Day. Another Leeds defender, Alex Bruce has recently been recalled early from his loan spell at Huddersfield and could make a start against Burnley after the side`s woeful defensive performance against the Tykes.

Simon Grayson is reported to be considering making quite a few changes after the Barnsley shocker; a result and performance that clearly left the Leeds gaffer embarrassed.

Winger Robert Snodgrass however remains sidelined following his appendix operation last Thursday, and skipper Jonny Howson, who has missed the last four games due to a knee injury, will also be unavailable

Midfielder Adam Clayton and striker Luciano Becchio though could return to the starting line-up

Player to watch: Andy Lonergan

The 28 year old former Preston North End keeper, signed for Leeds United on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee in July 2011. He is now in competition with Paul Rachubka for the number one spot left vacant by the departed Kasper Schmeichel. He would appear to be winning the battle though and only lost out to Rachubka when he fractured his finger and was out of action for six weeks earlier in the season.

Now back in the starting eleven, it will interesting to see if he has any psychological scaring following the four goals conceded in their last game against the Tykes. It is imperative that the Clarets put the keeper under pressure early to test his confidence and then keep him busy throughout the game.

Burnley Team News:

Brian Jensen is now back in training following the groin injury he picked up in the Posh game at London Road back in September. It is not expected that he will be in contention for the Leeds clash though. Striker, Danny Ings, who has yet to make his debut for the Clarets, could also be available later this month following steady recovery from a cartilage injury sustained in training just days after joining the club last summer.

News is also awaited regarding Michael Duff. He limped off with a hamstring injury in the Boxing Day game at home to Donny Rovers and missed out on the Hull clash on Saturday.

There is no news of any further injury concerns. Wallace seemed to shake off a limp in the Hull game and Ben Mee does not appear to have any ill-effects from yet another head injury after taking the full force of the ball in his face against the Tigers.

Player to watch: Kieran Trippier

Rumours abound on message boards that Burnley are about to strike a permanent deal in the now open January window for the Manchester City defender currently on loan at the club. Whether that is true or not, he will be key to helping the Clarets keep Leeds at bay on Monday afternoon. He seems to have improved significantly since arriving at the club, both defensively and down the flank. Trippier also seems to have developed the art of the long throw (along with Ben Mee) and is not shy at trying attempts on goal. He has one goal to his name already scored in scintillating fashion at Brighton just before Christmas.

Team & Tactics:

This is a difficult one to call and depends on how much Eddie Howe wants to rotate his squad. He has already indicated that with three games in the space of eight days over the festive period that he does indeed intend to give a lot of his squad players a chance to show what they can prove.

He started that process against Hull City at home on New Year`s Eve. Keith Treacy was given his chance in the starting eleven at the expense of Junior Stanislas who did not even make the bench. Sadly for Treacy he did not really shine that much so he may have lost his chance of making another start. The other question is whether Michael Duff will be fit enough to play following his hamstring injury in the Boxing Day game at home to Doncaster. He was sidelined for the Hull game allowing Mee to start in the centre with Easton taking up the left-back slot.

If Duff is fit enough to play, I can see him making an immediate return to the starting eleven with Mee taking over from Easton at left back.

There is also another question regarding the strike force. Charlie Austin and Sam Vokes have both had to be content with a place on the bench in recent games so could one or both be in line for a starting eleven slot against Leeds? This could all depend on Howe`s tactics and formation. My suspicion is that he will continue with a 4-5-1 formation away from home or more likely a 4-1-4-1 with Dean Marney in the holding midfield role.

Howe has so many options so it is practically impossible to predict this one. I will assume we start 4-1-4-1 and base my prediction on that.

It would be hard to leave out Pato though. He is bang on form and sniffing for goals but how does this sound?

Grant, Trippier, Duff (if fit), Edgar, Mee, Marney, Treacy, McCann, Bartley, Wallace, Rodriguez

Subs: Stewart, Easton, Stanislas, Paterson, Austin (or Vokes)

Ref Watch:

East Yorkshire referee, Mark Brown gets this War of the Roses clash. Brown`s last game in charge for the Clarets was our season opener at home to Watford back in August last year. He showed just two yellow cards in that game with the Clarets having to settle for a 2-2 draw. In the 20 games in charge this season, Brown has shown just one red card although has handed out 52 yellows.

Match Prediction:

We never seem to get much joy these days at Elland Road but we go into this clash with our heads held high after storming up the table over the festive season and now finding ourselves about the Yorkshire outfit. With Burnley in 7th spot keen to get in the play-offs positions and Leeds in 10th just one point behind the Clarets there is all to play for in this game. A draw would be a great point against this lot and I will go with 2-2. It will be incidentally our first draw in 18 games should we achieve it!

Next Match:

We take a break from our promotion push and turn our attentions to the FA Cup. Premier League new boys, Norwich City will be a strong test for the Clarets as we aim to progress to the 4th round stage of the competition. We face a tough game against them at Carrow Road on Saturday 7th January (Kick-Off 3pm)

The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday January 1 2012

Time: 2:17PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Well the relative form suggests we might get summat from this one! A point would be great! Just noticed in time they have just signed Spurs winger, Andros Townsend on loan today. He will be a handful drat
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01/01/2012 14:20:00
Front 6 for me would have to be Wallace, Marney, Bartley, McCann, JayRod and Pato. Away to Leeds these 6 give us all the options 4 4 2, 4 5 1 and 4 3 3. Would keep the back 4 even if Duff were fit, time enough to bring him back at Norwich.
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01/01/2012 14:43:00
I am currently having an argument with myself over whether to make the short journey tomorrow having initially decided against it on basis of the price! The little I have seen of Townsend I have liked. A point would be a good result.
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01/01/2012 14:51:00
Duff looked to have pulled his hamstring good and proper on Boxing Day so he could be out for a few weeks if it is a bad 'un. Think the team is well organised at the minute and, defensively, they set up pretty well. Happy with a 4-2-3-1 type formation for away games which, when it goes right, makes us look like Real Madrid. Unfortunately, when it doesn't work we look like real plonkers.
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01/01/2012 15:28:00
Michael Duff faces a late test on his hamstring injury according to BBC Sport. At least I have more confidence now in the Trips,Mee,Edgar,Easton back four. They have looked quite solid last two games. If they play Marney as holding midfielder there will be extra protection too
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01/01/2012 16:33:00
A point would be a cracking result, we are all feeling so much happier with things. We are trying hard to play good football and that helps, hoof ball is not a good option imo.
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01/01/2012 19:30:00
I dont think we should sit back and be happy with a point. We are on a fantastic run at the moment and Leeds have been playing some awful football. In addition to that they have a couple of really big players out in Snodgrass and Howson. We are certainly capable of going there and taking three points and in doing so pushing away from Leeds and other members of the play-off chasing pack. As long as we can stay as consistent as possible and not go on any bad runs, we are capable of being in the top six by the end of the season. However, we are in January now so we must make sure that we hold on to all of our quality players and hopefully we can bring in a couple aswell. We were close to making the play-offs last year, and at this stage last year we were in a worse position than we are now, so it all bodes well.
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01/01/2012 20:32:00
We need to take the game to Leeds and go all out for 3 points, Leeds are struggling of late and we are on a fantastic roll,
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02/01/2012 11:02:00
Tend to agree TC, putting them under pressure and taking the lead could put them under considerable strain with the home crowd hopefully then getting on their backs! A point would still be an excellent result though
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02/01/2012 11:06:00
Agree 100% with your post TMP.
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02/01/2012 12:55:00
Austin and Stanislas return to starting eleven. Pato rested. Bartley and Treacy miss out due to illness and Duff still sidelined with hamstring. Team: Grant, Trippier, Edgar, Mee, Easton, Marney, McCann, Wallace,Stanislas, Rodriguez, Austin Subs: Stewart, Amougou, MacDonald, Hines, Vokes
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02/01/2012 14:15:00
Not surprised by resting of the energetic Pato so soon after his comeback. With no Bartley available we look a touch thin on the bench in midfield and defence. But Jay Rod can, and probably will, play midfield, and McCann has of course played centre back and left back.
Couch Potato
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02/01/2012 14:24:00
Good to see Austin back in starting eleven. Lets hope he produces something special again.
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02/01/2012 14:25:00
Leeds United boss Simon Grayson has made five changes from the side that lost heavily at Barnsley for today's game.Paul Connolly, Michael Brown, Mika Vayrynen, Andy Keogh and Ross McCormack are out with Alex Bruce, Zac Thompson, Andros Townsend, Luciano Becchio and Adam Clayton all starting. Leeds line-up: Lonergan, Bruce, O`Dea, Kisnorbo, White, Pugh, Townsend, Clayton, Thompson, Becchio, Nunez Subs: McCarthy, Brown, Sam, McCormack, Forssell
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02/01/2012 14:26:00
Certainly not short on strikers with that line-up even if Pato is out
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02/01/2012 14:34:00
Phew came looking to see whats up wth Pato. I saw he went off tail end of the Hull game was a bit worried he got injured again.
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02/01/2012 14:42:00
Bollox, Trippier sent off for a second yellow. Both innocuous, thanks for spoiling the game Brown. One match ban (Norwich). Hectic game end-to-end and this prat of a ref kills it. 0-0 still
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02/01/2012 15:31:00
Amougou on for Stanislas, Edgar moves to right back
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02/01/2012 15:38:00
0-0 at half-time but under pressure down to ten men.
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02/01/2012 15:50:00
Its all Leeds in first 15 minutes of second half. We are having to withstand so much pressure. 7 corners to them so far both Edgar and Mee also yellow carded. Phew!
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02/01/2012 16:26:00
GET IN-ten men Burnley take the lead..Austin,you beauty!!
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02/01/2012 16:32:00
FFS 1-1 with 4 mins to go. Sounds like an own goal
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02/01/2012 16:50:00
Pugh deflection off Easton for og Now 5 mins of extra time!!
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02/01/2012 16:57:00
Oh for gawds sake, Grant spills it and Leeds win 2-1 in last 20 secs of game. Cruel so ferking cruel!!
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02/01/2012 16:59:00
BBC logs goal in 7th minute of added time. 7mins!!!!
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02/01/2012 17:08:00
Good fighting spirit, keep it going. Terribly unlucky and we were actually in the play offs whilst we were in front. Keep up this spirit and we will definitely make the play offs.
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02/01/2012 17:13:00
That's the spirit Cornwall.
Couch Potato
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02/01/2012 17:14:00
I absolutely hate Leeds
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02/01/2012 17:15:00
What's yours Couch? Mine's a Scotch.
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02/01/2012 17:40:00
How on earth was there 7 min 30 sec of extra time 1 - 0 at 88 mins how unluky can you get well done burnley for battling spirit
Albmaleaf claret
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02/01/2012 17:43:00
What a cruel end to the game 2- 1 to the rookie championship (I could say Yorkshire man but Im from west yorkshire ) referee. This is the worst feeling since spurs robbed us of a place in the League cup final.
Grimsby Claret
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02/01/2012 18:55:00
Time wasting by your players the whole 2nd half and in injury time. Anyway we can only beat you so can we play again next week guaranteed 3 points
Tiny T
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02/01/2012 23:25:00
I suggest a better bet would be to try and get your referee to be in charge of all your games if you want to win! East Yorkshire? Was he wearing a white shirt underneath his official one?
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03/01/2012 11:04:00
Match Report now up! Gawd this defeat hurts and still does this morning. Somehow we all have to move on and put it behind us. If there is a god, he must be a Leeds fan!
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03/01/2012 11:07:00
There is A God Phil and the injustice of yesterday, was the only way leeds could have won 8 mins extra time no way was this & the sending off was disgracefull. We would have battered them with 11 men but we have to go and batter other teams now
Albmaleaf claret
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03/01/2012 12:39:00
2 yellow cards automatic RED, don't you numpties know the rules
Tiny T
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03/01/2012 21:07:00
Correction-I yellow card and one 'White' card from a biased ref! That second card was an atrocious decision, even neutral fans would admit that seeing the replay! The ref was disgraceful and made countless errors throughout the game even for your lot
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04/01/2012 10:50:00

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