Leeds United out to be TV stars in next bunch of five
Suitably refreshed and raring to go again, Leeds United set out on their next section of the season on Saturday looking to justify their status as TV stars.
With seven of their next eight matches all being televised live on Sky Sports, including all five of their Sky Bet Championship outings before the next international break the Whites are certainly getting plenty of exposure with any successes or failures being played out to a big audience.
And with eight of their matches already this season being chosen for live coverage it is little wonder that teams are working out how to stop Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds team.
Working it out and delivering are different things, of course, and with just one league defeat United have been proving hard to beat so far whatever opponents are coming up with.
They still remain unbeaten away from home under Bielsa and take that record on the road to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
After controlling their last two games on their travels at Sheffield Wednesday and Hull City – dominating even – a repeat will be expected by the travelling fans with the hosts in mid-table, although more of a cutting edge is going to be needed.
Despite all the possession they enjoyed in those two Yorkshire derbies Leeds only managed one goal in each and they were great strikes from outside the area that cannot be relied upon every game.
In that respect they should be helped by having striker Kemar Roofe back after he played – and scored – in a 2-2 draw for the development side against Burnley last week.
With four goals from six starts Roofe has been the best striker since Bielsa’s arrival and his return to fitness can only benefit the team at this time.
The deputising Tyler Roberts has scored three goals in his absence and although he can expect a return to the bench when Roofe returns he can have a big part to play, offering the head coach a handy substitute option he has not always had.
Leeds will be without the suspended Luke Ayling for their trip to Ewood Park, but look set to have another of their first team stars back from injury with Gaetano Berardi also playing in the under 23s match last week and ready to come in at right-back.
There has been no news yet on the return of Pablo Hernandez and Barry Douglas from their injuries, while Bielsa waits to hear if any of his players picked up knocks on international duty with Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Stuart Dallas away with Northern Ireland, Pontus Jansson with Sweden, Roberts with Wales, Ezgjan Alioski on Macedonia duty and Mateusz Klich part of the Poland set-up.