Saturday, November 27, 2010


Really busy day for me today, so I am just posting the one preview on the blog, therefore, no need to check back later. I am hugely involved in the golf from Dubai, as those of you who got the midweek email know and we have a very exciting weekend in prospect with that. I have a ticket for a match today which is sold out and am 50-50 about whether I can use it or not, which is frustrating, but business first !

Weather is bad in the UK, lots of snow around and those that missed out still have frozen and icy conditions to contend with. Pitches are never really a problem at the bigger clubs, but games can still be in doubt with surrounding areas deemed "unsafe", we are still in the dark ages when it comes to winter in this country !


Huge day in the Championship, with a couple of massive match ups, two of which I am very interested in....


I really do not agree with the odds in this one, where the home side look terribly short to me. Don't get me wrong, I like the Royals and do not think that they will be too far away from the top six come May, but they are not in the best shape physically at the moment. I got a report from training yesterday and a whole host of players were only doing minimal work and are clearly carrying knocks and also heard from a seperate source that only 15 of what is/was a large squad are fully fit. Mick Mills is suspended and with Ingimarsson already out and Harte one of those doubtful, they are going to have to reshuffle the back line. In midfield, players like Tabb with his tireless industry and Kebe who has unbelievable pace, will be less effective carrying knocks, as I understand it, at least one, maybe both will be risked, with home boss Brian Mc Dermott having so few options.

Leeds come here in very good form and seem to have got away from their up and down start to the campaign, settling into a higher and more reliable level of performance. They are on a 5 match unbeaten run and feel that they should have won all five of those having led in the Hull and Norwich games too. The draw at Carrow Road last week was a very good performance with coach Simon Grayson calling the opening 45 minutes as good as anything they have produced in his time at the club. He is happy with the squad and choose not to get active ahead of the loan transfer window, although he did extend the deal for Andy O'Brien until into the new year. O'Brien's arrival coincided with the upturn in results and the vastly experienced defender is said to be very good value both on and off the pitch and a very positive influence on the training pitch and in the dressing room. United, as always, sold their full allocation of 4,300 tickets for today and will definitely make the most noise in what can be a quiet stadium at times, the support has been fantastic and I read that several of the players stood outside Norwich last week listening to their fans still singing in the stadium long after the match had finished and were very moved and motivated by the experience. United are a big club, they deserve to be in the top flight and it is not impossible that they could manage it this season. I see them in the better shape ot the two clubs today, they might get the chance, given the home side's problems to boss the midfield and will definitely get opportunities to score, United have registered 121 attempts on target this season, second highest in the division and have hit the woodwork 13 times, with no other club in double figures, so still room for improvement, getting a half goal start is an unexpected bonus in my opinion.

Leeds United + 0.5 1.98 + .

Good Luck.

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