Leeds fans don’t tend to like Yorkshire derbies, primarily because we have a habit of going into them as favourties and ending up totally humiliated as our opposition up their game and The Whites fail to respond. If you’re a football betting man, my advice is to save your money and invest in national lottery tickets where there are only 13,983,816 possible outcomes – significantly less than any match involving Leeds United nowadays.

That said, things do seem to have changed this season, with Simon Grayson and the lads boasting a 100% record from their four Yorkshire derby matches thus far.

  • Leeds United 3-2 Bradford City – League Cup (09-08-2011)
  • Leeds United 4-1 Hull City – Championship (16-08-2011)
  • Doncaster Rovers 1-2 Leeds United – League Cup (23-08-2011)
  • Doncaster Rovers 0-3 Leeds United – Championship (14-10-2011)

Leeds v Barnsley last season sums up why Yorkshire derbies are always a bit of a worry for The Whites. A 3-3 draw at home was almost respectable after the 5-2 hammering we took at Oakwell earlier in the season.

Considering the respective league finishes of Barnsley (17th) and Leeds (7th) last season, and the 10 places that separate us once again this season, Leeds United fans had good reason to be annoyed by the results last season and won’t be satisfied with anything less than all three points this time round.

But the history between these two sides stands testament to the unpredictability of the tie. From 52 encounters, Leeds have only a slight edge with 20 wins to Barnsley’s 16.

More worrying is that Leeds haven’t beaten the Tykes since their brief foray into the Premier League back in 1998. In our four Championship meetings since then, Barnsley have won two, drawn two.

The unpredictability of both teams and the closely matched history of the fixture hasn’t stopped the bookies making Leeds heavy favourites however. Currently in 5th place, and after recovering from Paul Rachubka’s meltdown with away wins over Leicester City and Barnsley, the bookies have Leeds at 4/6 to record a third straight win. 15th placed Barnsley meanwhile are considered rank outsiders with odds of an Elland Road upset at 4/1 whilst a draw is around the 5/2 mark.

Team News – Leeds United

Both Alex Bruce and Paul Rachubka left the club on loan deals yesterday, whilst veteran keeper Maik Taylor signed for The Whites. With Leeds’ first choice goalkeeper Andy Lonergan still recovering from injury, Taylor is likely to start on the bench with on loan Reading keeper Alex McCarthy keeping his place in the starting XI.

Andy O’Brien is unlikely to feature at all after a fall out with Simon Grayson left him refusing to play against Burnley last Saturday. Darren O’Dea will serve a one match suspension for his fifth yellow card of the campaign meaning Leeds’ only real option in central defence is a pairing of Tom Lees and Patrick Kisnorbo, making Leigh Bromby the only remaining defensive option on the bench.

Elsewhere, Lloyd Sam will likely start in place of Danny Pugh who missed the trip to Burnley with a hamstring strain, and Simon Grayson may decide to shuffle things about up front, replacing either Ross McCormack or Andy Keogh with Luciano Becchio.

Probable starting XI – Leeds United


White – Lees – Kisnorbo – Connolly

Sam – Howson (c) – Clayton – Snodgrass

McCormack – Keogh

Team News – Barnsley

Barnsley welcomed back Danny Haynes and Bobby Hassell last week after spells out with injury and with Reuben Noble-Lazarus and Goran Lovre also nearing a return to action, The Tykes are starting to recover from a mini injury crisis that has been partly to blame for their inconsistent start to the campaign.

The visitors will be further strengthened by the return of Danny Drinkwater and Andy Gray who both served one match suspensions in their 2-0 win over Doncaster Rovers last weekend.