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Match Preview


Posted Fri 15 Aug 14

Match Pack: Leeds United

Sky Bet Championship
Saturday August 16 2014
Leeds United v Middlesbrough
Kick-off 12.15pm

Your in-depth guide to this Saturday's game, compiled by Gordon Cox, Sam Loughran and Ken Daly.

THIS will be the 87th league meeting between the two, with Leeds having won on 33 previous occasions compared to Boro’s 28, which leaves 25 draws.

Aitor Karanka took charge of his first game in the corresponding fixture last November. 

In Opposition
Leeds were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2003/04 season, before losing their Championship status in 2006/07, finishing bottom of the pile.

After three seasons in the third tier of English football, they were promoted in second place behind Norwich City in 2009/10 and missed out on the play-offs by three points the following season, finishing seventh.

Last season they finished 15th, three places and seven points behind Boro, despite being fifth at Christmas. They conceded 67 goals, only five teams let in more. 

Brian McDermott, was appointed manager on April 12 2013, replacing Neil Warnock who left on April 1.

But McDermott was reportedly sacked from his post on 1 February, whilst the club was in the midst of a takeover bid from Italian Massimo Cellino. Just two days later, however, McDermott was reinstated as boss. Having seen the season through, and with Leeds finishing 15th in the Championship, McDermott was sacked on May 30. 

Cellino chose Sedgefield-born Dave Hockaday as the replacement at Elland Road. Hockaday, a former pupil at Bede School in Billingham and a former Billingham Synthonia player, was last in a management role at the start of last season with Forest Green, but was sacked after seven losses in the first eight games.

Ross McCormack was sold during the summer for £11m to relegated Fulham. Cellino has overseen several Italian arrivals at Elland Road, while striker Billy Sharp was signed on Wednesday.

Vital Statistics

Boro have won both their games so far this season. A 2-0 home win over Birmingham City on the opening day of the Championship last Saturday was followed up with a 3-0 victory at Oldham Athletic in the Capital One Cup first round on Tuesday night.

Having scored in both of those two games, Kike becomes the first played since Mido in 2007 to have scored in his first two games for the club. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink did so in 2004, as did Alen Boksic in 2000.

Leeds were beaten 2-0 on the opening day at Millwall and edged past Accrington Stanley 2-1 at Elland Road on Tuesday night.

Had the season begun upon Aitor Karanka’s arrival in November – which began with a 2-1 defeat at Elland Road – Boro would have finished seventh in the Championship, three points behind Wigan in sixth, with a game in hand. Boro picked up 1.55 points per game following the former Real Madrid man’s appointment. 

Leeds won two of their last eight at home in the Championship last season and this game signals their first of this campaign, before hosting Brighton on Tuesday.

Middlesbrough have won eight of their last 10 league and cup games, and scored in 11 of the last 12.

Until the 4-1 win in last season's final away game at Yeovil they had only scored five away goals in four months, and in only three games.

They have taken an away point after being behind at half-time just once in almost three years (at Huddersfield in March), and have not won away after going a goal down in 3 3/4 years - at Cardiff in December 2011.

Boro have not had a penalty in 2014, not had one away for 19 months, and not scored one away for 21 months.  

They have fielded an unchanged side once in 81 games in almost two years.

Leeds' squad is drawn from just six countries, and all but six are from the British Isles. Two of their three Italians are on loan.

Seven players left in the summer, with Ross McCormack, who Boro tried to sign and who scored the winner last season, the only one for a fee, £11 million to Fulham.

He was the Championship's leading scorer last season with 28, and apart from him and Matt Smith with 12, no other Leeds player managed more than three goals.

Five players joined in the summer, none costing a fee, including Nicky Ajose, a former teammate of Lee Tomlin at Peterborough who scored 17 goals last season.

Another, Swiss defender Gaetano Berardi, will miss this game after being sent-off on his debut against Accrington on Tuesday.

Billy Sharp, who signed from Southampton on Thursday, played with both George Friend and James Husband in his two spells at Doncaster. He has scored twice against Boro, each time giving his side an early lead, and each time Boro came back to win.

The club said they hope to have two more new players by Saturday.

Leeds' penalty record could not be more different than Boro's.

Last season they were the only side in the Championship not to concede from the penalty spot. The last one scored against them was 19 months ago at Barnsley, but the two just before that were scored by Adam Clayton and Billy Sharp, who may both play in this game for their new clubs.

Incredibly the last penalty scored against Leeds at Elland Road was in November 2011.   Only one has been given against them there since - and that was 16 months ago. 

Us v Them

Boro have won three of their last six visits to Elland Road. They have only lost twice in 11 visits, but they have been the last twice.

This fixture has only ended goalless once, close on 32 years ago. Since then, Boro have kept just three clean sheets there, but two of them have been in their last five visits.

Leeds/Boro games have produced nine red cards in nine seasons. There have been five red cards in the last five meeting at Elland Road, two for Boro, three for Leeds. Boro had six players sent off in eight games at Elland Road between 1978 and 1987.

Middlesbrough have beaten Leeds just seven times in the last 34 years. Four of those wins have been at Elland Road, three in the last six visits. Boro's two defeats in the last two seasons were the first there for 10 years.

Boro have taken the lead in three of their last four games at Elland Road, but only held onto it once. Twice they conceded in injury time, once in the first half, once in the second, and last season lost after equalising with only 10 men.

They have only failed to score there once this century, 12 years ago.

Boro need two goals to bring their total at Elland Road to 50. They have conceded 86 there.


Last six meetings at Elland Road 

2013/14 – Championship
23-11-2013: Leeds 2–1 Boro

2012/13 – Championship
22-12-2012: Leeds 2–1 Boro

2011/12 – Championship
13-08-2011: Leeds 0–1 Boro

2010/11 – Championship
01-01-2011: Leeds 1–1 Boro

2003/04 – Premier League
31-01-2004: Leeds 0–3 Boro

2002/03 – Premier League
15-03-2003: Leeds 2–3 Boro

2001/02 – Premier League
11-05-2002: Leeds 1–0 Boro

Diary Dates

Five years ago - Adam Johnson, Marvin Emnes and Tuncay give Boro a 3-0 win on their first visit to Swansea's Liberty Stadium.

15 years ago - Christian Ziege, Brian Deane and Hamilton Ricard score in a 3-1 win at Derby, but Boro lose Dean Gordon for the rest of the season.

30 years ago - Paul Sugrue and current Head of Recruitment Gary Gill score in a 2-2 friendly at Newcastle, in front of just 6,867.

35 years ago - Boro ruin newly-promoted Spurs' return to the top flight with a 3-1 opening day win at White Hart Lane (Armstrong, Burns and Jankovic).

40 years ago - Boro blow Birmingham away at St Andrews in their first Division One match for 20 years, 3-0 with goals from Alan Foggon (2) and John Hickton.

45 years ago - Hickton and Joe Laidlaw score to beat newly-relegated Leicester 2-1 at Ayresome Park.

Last time out

February 22 2014
Middlesbrough 0
Leeds United 0

Shay Given signed off with his tenth clean sheet in Boro colours, but a goal drought continued. The full-time whistle signalled a club record, the sixth game in a row without a goal, but Boro had kept a clean sheet in six successive home games for the first time in 27 years. 

Middlesbrough: Given; Varga, Woodgate (Capt.), Omeruo, Friend, Chalobah, Leadbitter, Butterfield (Ledesma 77), Kamara (Tomlin 67), Main (Adomah 71), Graham. Subs: Konstantopoulos (gk); Atkinson, Morris, Whitehead.

Leeds United: Butland; Peltier, Wooton, Pearce, Warnock, Austin, Murphy, Stewart, Kebe, Hunt (Smith 81), McCormack. Subs: Cairns (gk); Brown, Tonge, Zaliukas, Poleon, Mowatt.

Referee Anthony Taylor

Middlesbrough Leadbitter, 39, foul.

Leeds United Wooton, 9, foul.
Attendance 20,424 (3,211 Leeds)
Conditions Cool and sunny with a gentle breeze  
Possession: Middlesbrough 55% Leeds United 45%
Website Boro Man of the Match: Strong performances from Omeruo, Chalobah and Friend, but Jonathan Woodgate got the vote.




On target

Off target






















Stuart Attwell 

This game will be his third of the season, his previous two have seen a combined three yellow cards and one red. Last season, Mr Attwell showed 108 yellow cards and nine red in 36 games. One of the reds was Lee Tomlin for Peterborough at Colchester.

He produced his first red card in his first game this season, at Swindon last Saturday, and has added three yellows in his two games.

He was last in charge of a Boro game for the 0-0 draw with Blackburn at the Riverside on February 8. His last Boro away game was the 2-1 defeat at Huddersfield in March 2013. 

He was last in the middle for a Leeds match during their 2-1 home win over Millwall on March 22.

Mr Atwell was the youngest Premier League referee in history at just 25 in 2008, but was demoted two years ago.


A warm, dry, sunny afternoon is forecast with an 18mph westerly wind taking the temperature down from around 16 degrees to around 13 degrees.

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