Leeds come into this early season clash with derby in a peculiar position, and one that bizarrely is shared with Derby, that is having drawn their first 4 games of the season. It’s been a solid start to the season, though conceding late against Burnley after leading for just 2 minutes combined with a 6 minute collapse from leading 2-0 at Bristol City left a bitter taste in the mouth. Another draw here and Leeds will level their record of consecutive draws.

Derby have had a mixed start to life under Paul Clement, the pre season favourites have yet to win, or lose for that matter, and last week drew 1-1 with Birmingham City at St.Andrews. Leeds come into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday, a game which had little quality bar the goals, a goal of the season contender from Wednesday and some neat play from Stuart Dallas to tee up Chris Wood.

Leeds record against Derby in recent years does not make pretty reading, as you’d expect, though the Whites did win 2-0 at Elland Road last season, with Mirco Antenucci hitting a brace. You have to go back to 2006 for the last time United avoided defeat at Derby, and all the way back to 2002 for the last Leeds win at the iPro (formerly Pride Park), with Lee Bowyer getting the winner that day. Last years meeting saw Derby win 2-0, with an Alex Mowatt own goal and a Jake Buxton header sending the Rams up to 3rd, while Neil Redfearn’s Whites languished in 20th, just 1 point above the relegation zone.

Key men:

Leeds – Luke Murphy. The midfielder’s return from injury will be welcomed by Uwe Rosler, who has rotated his midfield heavily during the opening weeks, and Murphy offers a consistent box-to-box effort, more in line with Rosler’s formation. He had an impressive game for the U21’s during midweek, scoring a long range effort and will be likely to feature against Derby.

Derby – Tom Ince. The man who once turned down Inter Milan for Hull cost Derby in the region of £5 million this summer after a fruitful loan spell which brought 11 goals in 18 appearances. He drifts around behind the strikers and likes to shoot from long range, meaning defensive midfield and full backs will have to remain disciplined throughout the game.

Team news:

Leeds – Luke Murphy and Lewis Cook return from injury and suspension respectively, while Lee Erwin will be pushing for game time after impressing for the U21’s. Antenucci and Wood are likely to partner each other up front once again, while Mowatt will be pushing for a start. Bamba could be partnered be either Liam Cooper or Guiseppe Bellusci, as rumours surface of interest from Italy in Bellusci.

Derby – Like Leeds, Derby have 2 midfielders returning, Jamie Hanson and Jeff Hendrick both return from injury and could feature on Saturday. Jonny Russell is in fine form and will likely start, while Darren Bent is pushing Chris Martin for the centre forward position. Former Leeds keeper Scott Carson played in the Rams last match and impressed, so could keep Lee Grant out of the side.

Notable moments:

1999 – Leeds strolled to a 4-1 victory at Elland Road after conceding an early penalty. Goals from Lee Bowyer, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Willem Korsten and Ian Harte sealed the win for David O’Leary’s side as Leeds went on to finish the season in 4th, qualifying for a Uefa Cup spot.

2004 – Frazer Richardson scored the only goal of the game in Leeds first game in the Championship for 14 years as the Whites beat Derby at Elland Road. Leeds would go on to finish a dissapointing 14th as Kevin Blackwell assembled a squad comprised of free transfers, loans and academy graduates.

2013 – April fools day was no joke for Neil Warnock as a late Jake Buxton goal sealed defeat for the Whites as he was sacked shortly after the final whistle. Results had been poor and performances were underwhelming as Leeds slipped down the table, before Brian McDermott came in and steadied the ship temporarily.

  • Carlos Radebe

    This is where both runs end. With Leeds winning 3-1

  • PMH

    That was a welcome and very timely away win and will take some of the pressure off. But let’s try not to get carried away. I don’t want to hear anything about “a real chance for promotion” until we have had three or four weeks of good results. One W in the Championship does not make you Premiership quality.

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