Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Have the Cherries got the belief to beat Leeds Utd?

Off the pitch matters are more in the papers following Leeds Utd than happenings on the field of play. While the Italian takeover may have hit a bit of a brick wall concerning Massimo Cellino's ambitions it must be having a big affect on how the Leeds team is preparing itself for games at the moment. Brian McDermott has to be worried about what happened in February when he was sacked and his players need to know that he is there to take them forward.

But this is football at Leeds Utd. It's not an ordinary club. If they could only get it together for one season they surely would again be a big force once they got into the Premiership. But their recent form has just about stalled any hopes they had of squeezing into the play-offs. One draw and three consecutive defeats to Burnley, Reading and Bolton hardly got March off to a good start for the Yorkshire giant. Against Millwall it was a lot better for Leeds with a string 2-1 home win and morale will be up after that.

At least they have what is by considered by many to be the best striker in the Championship. Ross McCormack could surely have jumped ship if he had wanted by now but he has stayed loyal and Leeds fans must live him for that. He is one of those players who makes something out of nothing and he surely will get 30 goals this season which will be a great achievement. But McDermott has other ways of playing with the sharp finishing of Connor Wickham now available to him. Bournemouth were lucky that Connor was injured when he was at Hillsbrough, but they are likely to face him in a Leeds shirt. Matt Smith is another option up front who could use his physical and aerial abilities to cause the Cherries problems. 

But my eyes will be on Jason Pearce for a lot of the match. The ex-Bournemouth player never shirked a tackle and always gave 110 per cent in a Cherries shirt and I was pleased for him when he first got his move to Pompey and then Leeds Utd. I still ask myself if he might consider a move back to the south coast now that Eddie Howe is at the helm again and has taken Bournemouth to the Championship. It maybe that Leeds do a bit of re-organisation over the summer and McCormack might not be the only player that there is some interest for.

Allsop saw red last time AFCB played Leeds Utd.
AFCB will remember the match they played against Leeds earlier on in the season when Allsop was sent off and Darryl Flahavan came on to save a penalty even if the team went on to lose 2-1 in an exciting game. I hope that the game at Dean Court is not quite as difficult for the Cherries as that game was, being down to 10 men for most of the match. 

Bournemouth have never beaten Leeds Utd I have been told, but they will not get many better opportunities than this. My head tells me that a draw would still be a good result but there are a few teams in this league that make you sit up if they don't win and this is one of those games. AFCB can upset the expected result and with victory would come more belief. We go tonight to the game with hope and a certain amount of confidence that the Cherries will give Leeds a very difficult game.

Leeds Away form:

AFCB Home form:
Make sure to take a look at Rival Lines if you have not read up about The Scratching Post's blogger interview with Cherry Chimes. We talk Massimo Cellino, Brain McDermott and Jason Pearce among other things that are Leeds Utd. 

1 comment:

  1. I would have to disagree that us winning the game would be an upset of the 'expected result'. On the contrary, on current form and the state of Leeds in general at the moment, this looks to me like a game we should be disappointed to get anything less than 3 points from. I don't think we should have anything to fear just because this is a big club with a big history. As your article also points out, we may not get many better opportunities than this and therefore I would suggest a win should be very much there for the taking.
    Also, just to say that Connor Wickham was recalled from his loan by Sunderland yesterday so that should render them even less of a worry.