Opposition watch: Leeds United

The low-down on this Saturday's opponents from Elland Road

Despite this weekend’s opponents Leeds United currently edging ahead of Wanderers in terms of victories in this fixture with 23 as opposed to the Whites' 22, Dougie Freedman’s side will be hoping to level the playing fields when they take to the Elland Road turf this Saturday afternoon.

With Brian McDermott’s side having left the Reebok with all three points earlier in the season courtesy of Luke Varney’s early opener, Wanderers will travel to West Yorkshire aiming to record their first victory over United in over a decade.

A season which saw them complete a league double over their Whites counterparts with a 2-0 victory at Elland Road before a comprehensive 4-1 win over Eddie Gray’s side in the return fixture at the Reebok – a result which ultimately condemned Leeds to relegation from the top flight – it was a campaign which the United faithful were eager to forget.

Their initial three year stint in England’s second tier was a mixed one, with the team recording a 14th place finish before narrowly missing out on a return to the Premier League via the play-offs in 2006 as they were defeated 3-0 by Watford at the Millennium Stadium.

Having come so close to promotion, the following season was one of struggles as off-the-field problems spilled over onto the pitch with a ten-point deduction for administration leaving the Whites staring down the barrel of League One.

The club proceeded to spend three seasons in the third tier of English football, and after two failed play-off attempts the Elland Road outfit secured promotion back to the Championship in 2010 as they finished runners-up behind Norwich City.

Since their return, United have finished seventh, 14th and more recently 13th in the league standings, with McDermott’s side currently residing in 12th position, just eight points shy of the top six.

With the club eager to make a return to the Premier League after a ten-year exodus, the Leeds faithful will be hoping that their team can find consistency heading into the final stretch of the campaign.

Despite having won just two of their last ten games in all competitions, Leeds did record an emphatic 5-1 victory over local rivals Huddersfield Town in their last home game – one of seven wins at Elland Road this term.

A season which marks manager McDermott’s first full campaign in charge of United, the former Reading boss has certainly brought stability to the ranks with the arrival of Luke Murphy, Scott Wootton and more recently Connor Wickham at the club.

The form of Ross McCormack however has been crucial for the Whites, with the Scotland international having notched 24 goals so far this term – over half of Leeds’ entire league haul.

Heading into the game off the back of a 1-1 draw with Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road, Leeds will be looking to record their first victory since mid-February but will come up against a Bolton side eager to make it three on the trot after successive wins over Watford and Blackburn in recent weeks.
Read Time: 3 mins