Another one of those games ear-marked as an easy three points looks set to be a lot harder than anticipated as we head to Tranmere tomorrow night who will be high in confidence after a 2-1 win over free-scoring Southampton.

Prior to the game, it was a no-brainer for the betting man amongst us. Southampton had just knocked ten past their previous two opponents, including a 5-0 demolition job on play-off chasing Huddersfield Town. In stark contrast, the fortunes of Tranmere couldn’t have been much different, who themselves had fallen to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the same Huddersfield side just days before.

This being League One, shock results don’t really tend to shock. What a team does one week rarely gives much indication of what they’ll do the next, but even by League One standards, the change in fortnnes for Tranmere was quite simply, unbelievable.

It stands to reason then that Leeds United would be their next opponents. We always seem to time things just right for an epic fail. Much like Tranmere’s fortunes seem to be changing, so too do that of Leeds. From having the title almost tied up just a couple of months ago, to desperately trying to avoid slipping into the play-off places, Leeds United are upto the same old tricks and insisting on doing things the hard way. Quite frankly, Tranmere couldn’t have timed this encounter much better.

If that wasn’t enough, Leeds United also seem to have another injury crisis brewing with Richard Naylor, Andrew Hughes, Shane Lowry and Mike Grella all doubts.

This weekend saw Leeds United drop another valuable two points to mid-table Brentford, who came and pretty much parked the bus. Perhaps unlucky when you take Michalik’s effort (which came back off the woodwork) into account, it still wasn’t the most inspired performance we’ve seen at Elland Road this season and there was a lot of room for improvement, not least in terms of applying pressure and urgency.

Even without that sense of urgency, Leeds dominated throughout and missed more chances than I care to recall. Earlier in the season, it’d have probably been quite a comfortable win, but things aren’t going for us at the minute and expecting the results to just come for us, won’t work.

The goal that put us behind was a bit of a sucker punch after we’d dominated the entire fixture and we did respond well to get the equaliser. Still, no matter how much Simon Grayson insists otherwise, it was by no means a great performance and the players know it was two points lost. Their confidence levels after recent performances and results must be a concern for the boss.

So what we have tomorrow night is a Leeds United team struggling for form, probably low on confidence, with nothing going for them at the minute and with injuries starting to pile-up, against a much improved and more confident Tranmere side determined to raise their game for the visit of the Whites and grab a surprise three points in their bid to stave off relegation. In my mind, we’re the underdogs!

Perhaps underdogs isn’t a bad thing though? With Leeds United I often worry more when we’re expected to win with ease. The three consecutive home games we had recently which the official site was dubbing “Operation Nine” inevitably turned into catastrophe as the players reached a whole new level of complacency and played the most dismal football of the season so far.

Manchester United meanwhile, no one expected us to win so that’s exactly what we did. Leeds have been doing the same thing for as long as I can remember. Cup finals that should have been all too easy (Sunderland) and League Championships with unsurpassable leads were blown, solely because we got overly confident (and the fixture pile-ups never helped). Then you look at the Champions League a few years back where everyone expected us to be out in the first match. We shocked Europe, because stubbornly and definatly, that’s what Leeds do.

In a roundabout way, by beating Southampton and raising the stakes of this game, Tranmere may have done us the ultimate favour. The players and management will have taken note, that this is a team capable of beating the big boys on their day and with that in mind, they’ll hopefully settle in quickly and focus on obtaining what has somehow become an unlikely three points.

Defiantly and stubbornly optimisic! On and on…