There is nothing quite as frustrating as an international break, especially when you are on a run of form. Whiling away the time mowing the lawn or playing the slots online. Garry Monk will be keen that run of form can continue when Leeds United resume their season against Reading on Saturday. The last weekend before the break couldn’t have gone much better for Leeds. Newcastle were held at Birmingham, Huddersfield were stuffed by Bristol City, Reading took points of Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds secured a very good victory against Brighton.
As is ever the way in the Championship any team can beat another on a given day and the top spots are far from settled yet. Leeds haven’t lost in eight games and are one of the form sides in the division. Whilst emphasis should very much be on securing a play-off place there must be half an eye on the automatic places. Eight points may be a lot to overturn in the remaining eight games but with both Brighton and Huddersfield proving they can have the odd slip up it is not unachievable. Reading will be no walk overs though, they have been in and around the paly-off places all season, and it may be an edgy affair after manager Jaap Stam's comments about Leeds style of football last time the teams met.
One fly in the ointment however could be the injury to Chris Wood on international duty with New Zealand against Fiji on Saturday. With 24 league goals to his name so far this season the Championships top scorer has been indispensable to Leeds United. Garry Monk has described Wood’s injury as ‘not too serious’ but if he does not pass a fitness test in time he could be difficult to replace.
Leeds have plenty of attacking options; Roofe, Doukara, Hernández, Sacko but no one has quite the knack of putting the ball in the back of the net as Wood. Perhaps a chance for Alfonso Pedraza to shine? Leeds do have form of getting good results without Chris Wood though, back in December Wood only played a bit part in Leeds United 4-1 demolition of Preston. The goals coming from Roofe, Sacko, Doukara and Hernández on that occasion with three of them scoring without Wood even on the pitch.
Leeds United to pick up where they left off?