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Discussion Starter #1
Can we win this game? Yes. Will we win this game? Maybe. Even if we win all our games left we may still not get the CL spot, depending on how Chelsea and Newcastle do. Our line up will probably be the same as the spurs game. Our defense seems to have lost its confidence again, so I expect something like 2-1 or maybe 3-2 for us.
 

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Premiership Preview: Leeds United V Sunderland
Leeds United - Sunderland | News Archive

Rio Ferdinand looks set to miss out again for Leeds (Allsport)
04/05/2002. AT STAKE

As the season draws to a close, both Leeds and Sunderland will spend the summer months with a `should have done better` tag hanging over their heads, leaving those on high at Elland Rd and the Stadium of Light, with the unenviable task of turning things around next season.

Leeds United were top of the Premiership on the first day of 2002 and chasing trophies via three separate avenues. Defeats in cup competitions both domestically and on the European front at the hands of Cardiff City and PSV, as well as a seven match run in the league when they collected just four points, has left their season in tatters, and they are now struggling to avoid a place in the much maligned InterToto Cup this summer when three months ago the Champions League looked a sure fire bet.

Sunderland are struggling at the opposite end of the table and as the goals from previous seasons have dried up, so have the points. Two successive seventh placed finishes are a far cry from the 14th spot that they currently occupy, and if results happen to go against them this weekend, they could conceivable be just two points above the relegation zone. Assuming that the mythical 40 point mark will see Premiership safety assured, just one more win will do it for Sunderland, and for their sakes, the sooner they get it, the better.

CURRENT FORM

Leeds (all comps - oldest results first): DWWWLL: Successive victories against Ipswich, Blackburn and Leicester ended a seven game run without a league win, and suggested that a European spot was back on the cards. However, over Easter, Man United and Spurs both exposed the defensive defiencies at Elland Road and deservedly came away with a victory each, leaving Leeds rooted firmly in sixth place and in desperate need of a slump from Chelsea or Newcastle.

Sunderland (all comps - oldest results first): LWLDLW: Consistantly inconsistent is as good a way of describing Sunderland at the moment. Defeats away from home against London trio Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea have been interrupted by victories at home against Leicester and Bolton and a draw against Southampton, and there in a nutshell you have their season - hard to beat at home, but dreadful on the road.

TEAM NEWS

Rio Ferdinand looks unlikely to return after injury and will miss his fourth game due to a knee problem, leaving the same back four as were destroyed by Spurs and Man United over the Easter period. Harry Kewell needed stitches in a foot injury sustained early against Man United and will also miss out on Sunday.

New Sunderland striker Patrick MBoma has pronounced himself fit for the game after shaking off his knee injury, and is likely to partner Kevin Phillips up front, who himself has shaken off a muscle strain. Michael Gray misses out with a back problem and will be replaced by George McCartney. Emersom Thome, Bernt Haas and Julio Arca remain sidelined long term.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Leeds: Ian Harte. The Irishman has split Leeds United fans down the middle. Many feel that his place in the team is warranted by his remarkable Beckham-like ability to score from 25-35 yard free kicks, however others believe that his stunning lack of pace and inability to tackle is a major problem - especially as he plays in defence! Whatever happens, he remains as likely to curl home a beauty at one end, as he is to be skinned by any attacker with any decent sprinting speed. Indeed, once Rio Ferdinand is fit, his place at left back may well be taken by Dominic Matteo.

Sunderland: Many eyebrows were raised when Claudio Reyna joined the Black Cats from Rangers, however he has looked a decent addition to the squad of late and after his two goals against Leicester in the last game, proved to be a useful addition in the goalscoring charts as well. Assuming that relegation isn't around the corner for the club, it will be interesting to see how he does in his first full season in England next year.

SA PREDICTION

Neither club are exactly high on confidence and both need points for vastly differing reasons. Despite the high quality of strikers on show, I would be surprised if we were treated to a goal fest, however home advantage should be good enough for Leeds to win 2-0.

POSSIBLE STARTING XI's

Leeds United: Martyn, Mills, Matteo, Ferdinand, Woodgate, Bowyer, Batty, Bakke, Smith, Viduka, Fowler
Sunderland: Sorensen, Craddock, Bjorkland, Williams, Gray, Reyna, Kilbane, McCann, McAteer, Phillips, Mboma
 

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Our defence needs to shape up, it is up to them wether we make the UEFA Cup and Europe. The rest of the team is pulling their weight, it's down to them... I can see a result of 2-0... If our defence shapes up that is...
 

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Our defence needs to shape up?.
You do have a point,but I think that the main problem is the midfield.They are not providing our strikers with enough good passes and are not helping the defenders.Too many sideways passes.
:depress:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, our defense has made some mistakes, but I think that just comes down to that Rio has been out. We need a consistent play maker.
 

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Yeah, ur right there. Without Rio the back seems to lack that certain touch. We need him back...

PS: Welcome back Elland Roader, haven't seen u 4 a while. Where's Matt?:) Tell him to drop by and thank him for the gifts...:tongue:
 

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With Sunderland fighting a late relagation battle Leeds will have to be on guard or Sunderland will bite. Leeds are still the favourites though and although the CL spot is probably gone, there is still plenty to play for, for players futures at the club.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Final- 2-0 for us!
Well it looks like the players still really want that spot. Match report anyone?
 

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Match Report
LEE BOWYER was the star of the show as Leeds kept the pressure on Chelsea and Newcastle above them in the table thanks to a 2-0 victory over Sunderland at Elland Road - an own goal and a Robbie Keane strike sealing the three points


In front of the watching England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, Bowyer's all action display dazzled as brightly as the Yorkshire sunshine and must have been a reminder to the England coach about his credentials for the World Cup in the summer.

An own goal by Jody Craddock put United in the driving seat early on and the only disappointing aspect of the performance was they didn't make the result safe until Keane's late strike.

United skipper Rio Ferdinand and midfielder Harry Kewell were both ruled out as United made no changes to the side beaten at Tottenham on Easter Monday.

Sunderland started with Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn attack, but defender Michael Gray made way for George McCartney.

A free-kick by Ian Harte and a David Batty shot from the edge of the area which Sunderland keeper Thomas Sorensen saved low down put the visitors under early pressure, with Leeds keen to make a bright start.



They got the goal their positive football deserved after only eight minutes, when Alan Smith got free for the second time down the right after tigerish tackling by Lee Bowyer on Kevin Phillips. The England international's inviting cross was heading for Mark Viduka until Sunderland defender Jody Craddock stuck out a foot and the ball looped over Sorensen into the net.

Viduka's shot from the edge of the area was blocked shortly afterwards, but United had a let off when Niall Quinn brought down Jason McAteer's cross ahead of Danny Mills and Nigel Martyn saved well at the feet of the Irish striker.

Smith was soon troubling Sunderland again with another run and cross down the right while Robbie Fowler scuffed a shot from inside the area after a sweeping move involving Eirik Bakke, Viduka and Bowyer.

The England striker had two chances midway through the first-half. For the first he swivelled and volleyed over the bar from 12 yards after Bowyer had got behind the visitor's back four once again, while his accuracy was again off key when he repeated the feat this time from outside the penalty box.



With Bowyer, Smith and Viduka causing the Wearsiders all sorts of problems another move ended with Fowler inches away from directing the ball past Sorensen from just three yards out.

Sunderland's best chance of the half fell to Phillips on 30 minutes when he typically volleyed on the turn from 18 yards and Martyn was relieved to see the ball fly wide of the post as he dived full length to his right.

Peter Reid sent on Patrick Mboma in place of Phillips after the interval and the Cameroon international immediately announced his arrival by shotting his and wide.

A shot by Bowyer was deflected wide following a neat free-kick routine involving Harte, and the United midfielder, who was dominating the midfield, then forced Sorensen to make a fingertip save when he attempted to curl the ball inside the left-hand post.



Robbie Keane replaced Fowler on the hour mark but once again it was Bowyer who had the next chance driving the ball inches over the bar from 20 yards.

A shot by Claudio Reyna, a cross by Kevin Kilbane and a shot by McAteer superbly blocked by Matteo, all troubled the United defence as Sunderland stepped up a gear in a search for the equaliser.

But Sorensen had to make another smart save to deny Bowyer once again after brilliant work by Viduka set up the midfielder for a shot from just inside the area.

With ten minutes left Mbomba shot over the bar with the goal at his mercy after a knock down by Quinn inside the area and Leeds responded immediately to put the result beyond doubt.



Viduka had the Sunderland defenders twisting and turning and he released a simple ball through for Keane to tuck the ball neatly past Sorensen. There were frantic appeals for offside but television replays proved McCartney was playing the Irishman onside.

The result has put Leeds back on course for Europe, but the performance was all about Lee Bowyer who hopefully will sign a new five year contract this week.

www.leedsunited.com Man of the Match - Lee Bowyer.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Keano scored, it gives more to my cause about getting rid of Dukes and putting in a reliable striker.


:)
 

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A great goal by Robbie Keane!.

Just a all round win for the Leeds side its good that they have actually won and put the pressure on Newcastle and Chelsea for that last remaining Champions League.

Like i always say everyyear:D.

Down to tha last Roach;).


Com'on Leeds you busta's!.
 

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Mmmm, I was really impressed by Viduka in this game. His control was superb and he released Keane for the goal.

Disappointing performances from Alan Smith, Bakke and Batty who didn't really do much. Bowyer was very good but wasn't clinical enough.

Fowler played well IMO but was unlucky to be substituted as he was a constant threat. I would like to see Keane play more with Viduka as they seemed to link well together and Keane is much more mobile and dynamic than Fowler/Smith. Viduka was able to find Keane's runs... which the others could not.

Leeds certainly need more creativity in midfield... someone who can stroke the ball around - like Stephen McPhail.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah, I think Viduka is getting better. Hey here's a thought: we need a playmaker type, and Rivaldo says he wants to play in the EPL and Barca are willing to sell him for 10 mil.....
 

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Ha Ha Ha!!! Rivaldo play for Leeds! I doubt it... :D Go from CL to UEFA Cup duties. Nup... I wish though!:tongue:

Ok! Ok! I have to say Viduka is getting a little better and he is doing a better job, but I think in all fairness Keane is making a better starting man than he is...:)
 

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A much more encouraging performance:D .
One thing I must say is that the Sunderland fans at the match never shut up.Well done to them.I just wish that the Leeds fans around us(Matty and I) would be a bit more vocal.I try to get them going every game to no avail( I think I annoy the hell out of most of them:tongue: ).Just ask HLB.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
leeds_utd_lad said:
Ha Ha Ha!!! Rivaldo play for Leeds! I doubt it... :D Go from CL to UEFA Cup duties. Nup... I wish though!:tongue:

Ok! Ok! I have to say Viduka is getting a little better and he is doing a better job, but I think in all fairness Keane is making a better starting man than he is...:)
That would be a crazy site, Rivaldo in a Leeds shirt!
 

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That would be a crazy site, Rivaldo in a Leeds shirt!
:howler: A very crazy site, more chance of Maradona kitting up in a Leeds shirt... :tongue:

One thing I must say is that the Sunderland fans at the match never shut up.Well done to them.I just wish that the Leeds fans around us(Matty and I) would be a bit more vocal.I try to get them going every game to no avail( I think I annoy the hell out of most of them ).Just ask HLB.
By the way, where is Matt??? Haven't spoken 4 a while...:)
 
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