The lovable scousers of Tranmere will be making the 66 mile trip up the M62 tomorrow for Leeds United’s fourth game of the 2009/10 League One campaign.
In contrasting fortunes so far this season Tranmere have won just one of their opening three games, beating Gillingham 4-2. They’ve suffered defeats at home to MK Dons and were beaten 2-0 away to Yeovil earlier in the week. Leeds on the other hand have won all three games so far and will be looking to maintain their 100% start to the campaign.
Head-to-head, Leeds and Tranmere have met four times in the league with the honours split evenly. Showumni gave us an early lead in the away fixture last season but Tranmere fought back and won 2-1. At Elland Road, Leeds United won the fixture 3-1 with goals coming from Beckford, Kilkenny and Becchio. We were also kind enough to score the goal for them as Sodje made an uncharacteristic error.
Elland Road could mark the first outing for former Leeds striker Michael Ricketts in a Tranmere shirt. The club signed the 30-year-old on a one year contract last week, making it his 11th professional football club.
After sacking Ronnie Moore in June, Tranmere hired former Liverpool midfielder, John Barnes as their manager, who in-turn brought in another Anfield favourite, Jason McAteer as his assistant. Barnes’ management career so far has been pretty unsuccessful. He started out as head coach at Celtic with Kenny Daglish in one of those ‘Director of football’ roles. Barnes was sacked within his first season and Daglish took over as manager. After eight years out of the game, Barnes returned as manager of the Jamaican international side, who he guided to a top place finish in the 2008 Carribean Championships, before announcing he wanted to return to club management.
Leeds are expected to make no changes to the side that’s made a 100% start to the season. We’re odds on favourites for the fixture with Paddy Power offering odds of 1/2 on a Leeds United win, 14/5 on a draw and 13/2 on a Tranmere victory. Hardly suprising when you take into account Leeds’ form at Elland Road, where we’ve won the last twelve home league fixtures.
With the 100% record intact and currently third in the league (on goal difference) I’d expect another great attendance at Elland Road tomorrow. Morale within the squad seems high too and spurred on by 27,000 (I’m guessing) fans, this has to be another win for the Whites.