Oldham Athletic v Leeds United FA Cup preview TSS November 5, 2009 Leeds United 2 Comments I don’t always get around to doing pre-match previews for one reason or another. Sometimes it’s lack of time, sometimes there’s just too much else going on, whilst other times it’s just lack of inspiration. For me, Oldham needs little introduction though. It’s not that they’re massive rivals of Leeds United or look like they’ll be challenging for the title at the end of the season. Oldham just seem to get the better of Leeds whenever we meet. Over the last two seasons we’ve beaten Oldham just once, which was back in 2007 when a last minute Ian Westlake strike earnt us all three points following a fairly poor performance from the Whites. Since then, Oldham have taken seven points from a possible nine. Six of those at Elland Road, where very few teams tend to leave with anything. In the reverse fixture during the 07-08 season, Oldham had effectively killed the game off before the half-time whistle by which point they’d already put themselves 3-0 up. Leon Constantine pulled one back just after the break, but the comeback was never on and Leeds were well and truly beaten. Fast forward to August the following season and Oldham were at it again. This time it was 0-0 at the break, but two second half goals from Chris Taylor earnt them another win at Elland Road with no reply from the men in white. That brings us to our last meeting back in March. Leeds were battling to get out of League One whilst Oldham were floating around mid-table. Once again it was 0-0 at half-time, but shortly after the break, Lee Hughes fired Oldham into the lead. This time though, Lucciano Becchio equalised shortly after to leave the scoreline at 1-1. A less than convincing display from the Whites, but we left happy with a point. Those that read my ‘Interview with an Oldham Athletic fan’ post from yesterday will have seen a less than confident fan worried about mounting injury problems at Oldham. Of course, Leeds have their fair share too, but that shouldn’t be any major concern with the depth of this squad. Bob, the Oldham fan I “interviewed” actually predicted a Leeds United win despite their record against us saying that he thought the final scoreline would be “3-1 to Leeds but we are at our most dangerous when everyone writes us off so who knows?” Not sure who they have out injured, except for Chris Taylor who scored the brace at Elland Road last season. Sean Gregan will need no introduction to Leeds United fans after his 63 league starts for the club, but could be a potential headache. It’s often the case that former players seem to raise their game against their old club so I’d expect a performance from Sean (if fit). For those of you that have been living in a cave, the FA have decided to stream this game live from their website. After seeing the England match in the Sports Bar in the centre of Leeds, I wouldn’t get your hopes up too high. The coverage was truly woeful and made for an extremely unpleasent viewing experience – I actually walked out long before the final whistle and went to watch the Leeds Rhinos game instead. As part of their loan agreement, both Sam Vokes and Max Gradel will be unavailable for the tie, which means Grayson will be forced to make changes. I’m half expecting him to rest the likes of Beckford anyway, so there maybe a starting place for both Mike Grella and Tresor Kandol. The one worry is that if we are struggling for options, Max Gradel has been used as an impact player to come on to change the game. Not sure we have many others with that capability. Really not sure what to expect from this Saturday’s clash. Not sure how much I care either. The romance of the FA Cup has long gone, but the chance of drawing Manchester United in the third round means it’s almost worthwhile. Taking Oldham’s injury problems and recent form into account – only one win in the last five – Leeds should be able to get a result here. The problem is, this is Oldham and if any team in this division looks like a potential banana skin, it’s most certainly them. We’ll be meeting them again in League One in a few weeks too. Oh joy!