Date:Tuesday April 1 2008
April Fools Day
Leeds United make the short trip to Yorkshire neighbours Doncaster Rovers for the League One clash on Tuesday night.
It will be Leeds first visit to actually play a game after the original game got called off late in the day when the clubs should have met in February (some of us had already made the 175 mile journey!).
Leeds have made the trip to Doncaster on seven occasions before with not much to choose between the teams. The last time they met in League action was when they were still kicking around a pig’s bladder, wearing big heavy boots and long shorts!
Leeds United boss Gary McAllister believes that Tuesday’s clash is the perfect “pay-back” time for a Leeds United side that suffered a snatched defeat in the home leg, only for Doncaster to cancel the return visit just 3 hours before kick off.
Speaking to the official club website the manager said:
”I've watched the game against them from earlier in the season on DVD,”
“They came here and did a job on us, but we are looking forward to this one. Hopefully it's payback.
“I've seen them play a few times, and they try and get it down and pass.
“It's a Yorkshire derby, but they had a good result against Forest last week. They deserved to win that one and this should be a good battle.”
Former Leeds United goalkeeper Neil Sullivan believes that the game gives Doncaster the perfect chance to push on and chase that final automatic promotion place that has slipped away somewhat of late:
”It is a huge game and we're looking forward to it because it's another we feel we can get something from,” he said.
“The 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest put us back in touch with [second-placed] Carlisle and now we've got to push on and get another three points if possible.”
Doncaster’s only doubt from that win over Nottingham Forest is central defender Matt Mills who has an heel injury. Doncaster expect him to play with a pain relief injection if required.
Heffernan has been out injured for most of the season but has come back recently and scored five goals in six games.
Leeds could be without two key influential players who suffered injuries on Saturday. David Prutton suffered a foot injury and is very doubtful, unfortunately Andy Hughes as now served his two match suspension and could be recalled whilst Jonathon Douglas still makes steady progress after his long term injury.
Even more worrying is the injury to Rui Marques who suffered a hamstring injury in the closing stages on Saturday. Marques as been the rock at the back for Leeds all season, recently he as had to do the work of three men with the inept Kenton and Michalik alongside him. Paul Huntington is the likely replacement.
Bradley Johnson also suffered an injury on Saturday but came through a training session unscathed and is expected to play.
Recently signed on loan from Crystal Palace and scored two goals in his full debut against Port Vale. It looks like he's forming a good partnership with Jermaine Beckford upfront.
Record at Doncaster:
Leeds wins 2
Doncaster wins 2
Leeds goals for 7
Doncaster goals for 10
Highest Leeds win 2-1 1955/56
Highest Doncaster win 3-0 1947/48
Highest aggregate 4-4 1950/51
1947/48 Doncaster 3-0 Leeds
1950/51 Doncaster 4-4 Leeds
1951/52 Doncaster 2-0 Leeds
1952/53 Doncaster 0-0 Leeds
1953/54 Doncaster 0-0 Leeds
1954/55 Doncaster 0-1 Leeds
1955/56 Doncaster 1-2 Leeds
Doncaster’s recent home record is impressive with five wins and a draw from the last six. They have scored ten goals and only conceded three.
Leeds away form is less impressive with two wins, three draws and one defeat. Leeds have scored seven goals and conceeded six.
Leeds will be wanting to avenge the defeat suffered at Elland Road in January when a Brian Stock free kick was enough for Doncaster to record their first ever win at Elland Road.
Since then Doncaster have continued to climb the table and held second place until a poor Easter saw them only take one point from nine. They got back to winning ways with a narrow 1-0 defeat over fellow promotion rivals Nottingham Forest on Friday. That result sees them just three points behind Carlisle who currently hold second place.
Leeds form since then as continued to be inconsistent with them unable to string a good run of results together. They put in one of their best performances of the season in beating Walsall 2-0. On Saturday they couldn't break a stubborn Brighton defence in a 0-0 draw at Elland Road and now sit just outside the play offs.
Andre Marriner is the man in charge. He was the man booked to be in charge for the original game last month. Marriner is regularly refereeing in the Premiership this season.
Linesmen (‘referees assistants’)
P.Keane & B. Sygmuta
1-1 A draw is really no good for either team with both really wanting wins to press claims for automatic promotion or play off positions. In that case I think it will finish 1-1, Jermaine Beckford was originally suspended for the game at the Keepmoat so I expect him to score Leeds goal. It will be just desserts for Doncaster not listening to the fact it was a 12 o'clock kick off originally and they didn't listen to the warnings of temperatures hitting -6 degrees the night before the game and covering the pitch!!!!
Next up is another away trip, this time Leyton Orient on the 5th April!
A big thanks to Dazza71 for an excellent match preview!
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Date:Tuesday April 1 2008
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