Leeds United come into Saturday’s clash with Brighton without a win in 3 and without a win in 10 home league games. Conversely, Brighton are unbeaten in 10 this season and are the only unbeaten side left in the top 4 divisions of English football.

Uwe Rosler has reiterated that promotion is not the aim this season, rather a top 10 finish would be deemed a successful finish, as the unbeaten start that lasted 6 games (1 win, 5 draws) has turned into 1 win in 4, and 2 in 10. Rosler faces a selection headache after several poor performances, with Mirco Antenucci one that is pushing for a start. Botaka and Adeyemi are also knocking on the door to the first team, with Botaka scoring for D.R Congo during the international break. Botaka faces competition from Will Buckley, who could start against his former club after joining on loan from Sunderland and starting the loss to Birmingham.

Tomer Hemed is in good form for the Seagulls, scoring 3 goals in their last 4 away games, while Kazenga Lua Lua could return to the bench after a month long injury lay-off. Jamie Murphy is set to miss the game with a suspension while veteran striker Bobby Zamora is set to appear again. Chris Wood is central to Leeds’ game, he’s been involved in 5 goals in his last 7 appearances (4 goals, 1 assist) and he could be partnered up front by Mirco Antenucci. The Whites will be without back-up keeper Ross Turnbull after he sustained a broken ankle during training, and Charlie Horton is set to deputise after his return from international duty with USA U23’s.

Leeds lost both fixtures 2-0 last season to a Brighton side that finished disappointing low in the table, but Chris Hughton’s men have gone ten games unbeaten )6 wins, 4 draws) and lie top of the table, making them a different proposition. The two sides have clashed several times in the past 10 years, including during United’s 3 year stint in League One and in the past few years in the Championship since former Whites assistant Gus Poyet delivered promotion to the AMEX stadium.

Notable clashes:

Brighton 3-3 Leeds United – Simon Grayson’s men came to Brighton looking to stop them from returning to the top of the table live on Sky Sports back in September 2011. Andy Keogh netted his first goal on loan at Leeds to give them an early lead, before Ross McCormack doubled the advantage at half time. Brighton began the comeback when Craig Mackail-Smith scored before Ashley Barnes scored from the penalty spot. Brighton thought they’d won it late on when Mackail-Smith bagged his second, only for Ross McCormack to score a dramatic injury time equaliser to share the spoils.

Leeds 2-1 Brighton – A sold out Elland Road crowd welcomed the Whites on the first day of the season back in 2013 under Brian McDermott, buoyed by the news of Ken Bates eventual Leeds United departure. Brighton took an early lead through Leonardo Ulloa before Ross McCormack levelled. New signing Luke Murphy scored an injury time winner to cap a fantastic day for him and for Leeds.

Leeds 3-1 Brighton – Back in 2008 the two sides clashed in League One, with Luciano Becchio opening the scoring and Jermaine Beckford scoring a brace. Glenn Murray scored the consolation goal for Brighton, while the day is fondly remembered for the image of Robbie Savage falling on his back as Fabian Delph skips away from him with the ball.

Key Men:

Leeds – Jordan Botaka. The Congo international has the ability to create chances out of nothing, and has impressed in his short game time so far. With Leeds struggling to create chances or score goals (just 4 players have scored for Leeds this year, a joint League low), he could be a key figure. With stiff competition for wide positions in Stuart Dallas, Will Buckley and Sam Byram, he represents a different option with his skill and pace being a threat to the opposition defence.

Brighton – Tomer Hemed. The Israeli international has been in lethal form this season, hitting 5 in 7 appearances, while he netted Israel’s consolation goal in their 3-1 loss to Belgium during the international break. He joined Brighton after several years in La Liga with Mallorca and Almeira and is a sizeable presence up front. He is likely to partnered by the experienced Bobby Zamora.

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  • Tim

    If Rosler doesn’t pick up points in the next three games his position IMO is untenable and we will be in the bottom three. Also Cellino is on the idiot trail again this week.
    What is the point of going to ER to see a team who have been told they are not good enough by the manager who also has no ambition at this stage of the season.
    This is the first time in years we have actually spent money on players. The fact is the players are good enough for a top six finish but the manager is certainly not. Cellino should have looked over his record at Wigan before diving in.
    Come on in Nigel Pearson or Jimmy Floyd with Lee Bowyer.
    Nothing less than a win will do today, but we said that at the last game.Same old…same old season after season.

    • Matthew

      Good enough for the top 6? I strongly disagree. The defence is too fragile, and Silvestri is prone to errors that can and has cost points. It doesn’t matter who we have as a manager, we’ll likely still finish mid table/bottom half without further investment. We could have Mourinho or Wenger and still struggle with this team.

  • pete.l

    exactly, why bring in numerous players then tell them they are not good enough, just another poor season ahead looking over our shoulders , need results fast

  • Scally Lad

    Maybe Cellino has decided to limit our ability to attend away matches since Uwe has already announced to the world that, under his management, LUFC are going nowhere this season.

    • Matthew

      At least Rosler was being honest, and to be fair, although this squad is underachieving massively this season, and is not a top 2 team by any definition of the word, and is more a team that could sneak a playoff spot if lucky. Further investment is desperately needed in key areas if you want to talk Promotion.

  • Matthew

    The obvious omission of Byram from the starting 11 strongly implies a Cellino influence. Even when out of form, Byram is a far superior player to Wootton. There’s no way any experienced manager could justify leaving Byram out of the 11, unless the owner is having a hand in it and his hands are tied.

  • Joe Back

    “Hunting for home form”. Hunting for form, period surely?

  • pete.l

    now looking forward to a possible pairing of wooton and bellusci in a few games if sol gets a ban. that will be fun

  • Dr Zen

    Can we please now stop pretending that Cellino is anything but another shitty clown of an owner dragging us down? Steve fucking Evans? Jeezus. Next we’ll have Sepp Blatter on the board.

    Oh and while we’re at it, can we also stop pretending that buying hatfuls of terrible players will make us anything other than terrible?

  • Scally Lad

    Evans is no great prize, but Uee was taking us straight into League One at record pace. Evans may stop the hemorrhaging. He can hardly do worse than what we’ve had – which has brought us to three points above relegation (and it’s only October). We need to get behind Evsns for the sake of the club and start showing up for matches at ER to demonstrate our support for the club – not make futile gestures that are not going to work, anyway, and which will do anything to inspire the lads on the pitch.

    • Irving45

      Hear, hear.

  • PMH

    and another one bites the dust. Sure, I have no idea if Rosler was good bad or indifferent as a manager. But, as I have stated over and over again, there is no point firing a manager if you can’t find anything better.

    When Cellino was first appointed, I pointed out that his record of firing managers made him unfit to be an owner. His only interest seems to be getting into the Guinness Book of World Records. His reign of error at LUFC has surprised even me. I expected terrible and he is much worse than that.

    Must admit this whole fiasco has worn me out. Life is too short to waste on this kind of nonsense. I’ll be back when things start getting better. Meanwhile, there’s some good rugby on the TV.

    • Irving45

      He was the wrong Manager for Leeds; so were McDermott and Milanic. Cellino at last has appointed a Manager with the manic energy we need. Now I shall let go of the cricket season, switch off the rugby and return to Elland Road. It’s going to be great listening to Eddie interviewing Evans.

      • PMH

        Your comment is absurd. Evans could be the second coming but his life expectancy is less than that of a fruit fly. Wake me up when Cellino is gone.

  • Irving45

    LUFC is a democracy in miniature – a combination of fatalism, on the one hand, and impatient, restless experimentation, on the other. We preach stability, believing that it will work out OK in the end; yet we want results now as well. When these are not forthcoming crisis ensues, which triggers further improvisation. And so it goes on. But it cannot go on indefinitely. It may now have reached its terminal crisis, the solution to which, some say, is to make us a real democracy, and others – loads of money.

    Meanwhile ……,.Evans is a good appointment for a club like ours. A clown, yes, but a driven, talented one.