PREVIEW: Lonergan returns and a bolstered attack make Burton a must win game

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leeds v burton

The conclusion of the transfer window last Thursday saw Leeds bring back a former number one and strengthen their much-depleted attacking options.

Andy Lonergan lasted only a season with the Whites as first choice keeper during the 2011/12 season after Kasper Schmeichel departed, but the experienced 33-year-old re-joined from Championship rivals Wolves on deadline day after Robert Green left to join Premier League new boys Huddersfield.

Pontus Jansson’s influence helped the Whites acquire Malmo forward Pawel Cibicki for just under £2 million, and they bolstered their attacking ranks further by adding German striker Pierre-Michel Lassoga on a season-long-loan.

Despite the profits from Chris Wood’s move to Burnley not seeing any household names from England brought in, Leeds have already proved that unknown talent from abroad can be key to success – Samuel Saiz and Ezgjan Alioski being prime examples of this.

Thomas Christiansen would’ve been pleased with the business done by the club during the summer as well as his own personal performance as Leeds Head Coach, after avoiding defeat in the seven matches he’s been involved in.

But one thing that would’ve frustrated the Dane is his sides inability to win either of their two home encounters this season, with two goalless draws against Preston and Fulham the only thing to improve on.

Fulham and Preston are never going to be straightforward games, but they aren’t the toughest opponents Leeds will face this season and considering Elland Road was a fortress last season, Christiansen will be expecting his side to re-fortify starting with the visit of Burton on Saturday.

Team News

Eunan O’Kane could miss his first league game this season after pulling out of the Ireland International squad this week with a suspected groin strain.

Although O’Kane could be involved from the bench if he misses out, Ronaldo Vieira could be given his first league start of the season.

New signing Pawel Cibicki is in contention to be involved but will most likely occupy a spot on the bench, with Thomas Christiansen unlikely to change his side around after their impressive start to the season.

However, fellow new boy Pierre-Michel Lassoga is likely to miss out as he is expecting the birth of his child over the weekend, but Andy Lonergan is expected to take up Robert Green’s place on the bench after his switch.

Burton currently have a host of ex Leeds players in their squad; including Stephen Warnock and Luke Varney, as well as current United loanee Luke Murphy but Warnock’s lack of training, Varney’s hamstring problem and Murphy’s ineligibility means they are unlikely to feature.

Past meetings

The Whites battled with Burton for the first-time last season, and the Brewers essentially ended the Yorkshiremen’s play-off hopes in Staffordshire last year in a 2-1 defeat.

Leeds won the home encounter 2-0 thanks to Chris Wood’s penalty and Souleymane Doukara’s goal, but a condemning result from the second game was made worse due to the decisions made during the early stages of the match, and Chris Wood’s disallowed goal in the first half was a key talking point.

Replays showed again that the goal should’ve stood and looking at it optimistically, Leeds could’ve gone on to win the game using Wood’s goal as a springboard going forward.

United’s form this season makes them clear favourites to beat Burton despite no victories at Elland Road in the league this season, and the visitors one win in five makes it a must win game for the Whites.

Stats: kickoff.co.uk

 

 

 

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