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Taking a look at... Leeds United

A look ahead to each of our Championship opponents next term, moving on to the Yorkshire outfit

6 July 2018

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The next opponent we focus on is on our Boxing Day opponents, as we take a look at Leeds United.

WHAT HAPPENED IN 2017-18?

After nine games without defeat at the start of the campaign under new boss Thomas Christiansen, the club's form drastically tailed off and they won only three games from mid-September to the end of November. Things did pick up though, and December saw the Whites lose just one of their six games, winning four of those matches to push them back towards the top part of the Championship table. But following on from that saw United go seven games without a win and a 4-1 home defeat to Cardiff saw the club part with Christiansen and go ahead with appointing Barnsley chief Paul Heckingbottom. Leeds were 10th in the table at this stage and hopeful of a late surge to the play-offs, but things didn't work out for the Yorkshireman, who won just four games in charge at United and the cliub finished the campaign in 13th. Heckingbottom would be dismissed after only four months in charge at Elland Road.

A BIT ABOUT THE BOSS

Marcelo Bielsa took over at Leeds this summer, after Paul Heckingbottom's departure from Elland Road at the end of the 2017-18 campaign. The Argentine started off his managerial career in his homeland with Newells Old Boys before taking charge in Mexico with Atlas and America. He made his first move into Europe when he took over at La Liga side Espanyol before getting the top job in international management, spending six years in charge of the Argentina national team and overseeing their 2002 World Cup campaign which had a galaxy of stars including Hernan Crespo, Gabriel Batistuta and Pablo Aimar. In fact, two members of that squad in Mauricio Pochettino and Diego Simeone have gone on to have stellar management careers themselves at Tottenham and Atletico Madrid respectively. Departing in 2004, Bielsa spent three years out of the game before being appointed Chile manager and took the South American side to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, armed with big names in Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal. His time with Chile was relatively successful, so much so that Athletic Bilbao took him back to Spain for two years before a season at Marseille, a campaign at Lazio and a year with Lille before linking up with Leeds.

WHAT'S THE GROUND LIKE?

Steeped in history, Elland Road has been the home of Leeds United ever since the club's formation in 1919. It's the 13th largest ground in England and the fourth largest outside the Premier League. The stadium has hosted FA Cup semi-finals, England fixtures and was actually one of eight stadiums which hosted Euro 96 games. Rovers fans will be in a part of the John Charles Stand, in the upper tier which caters for up to 3,000 supporters.

THE LAST TIME WE LOCKED HORNS

A Pontus Jansson header stole the points for United at the death.

WHO'S PLAYED FOR BOTH?

Defender Stephen Warnock is one player to have pulled on the shirt of both Rovers and Leeds, as is Marcus Antonsson, who played his part in our promotion back to the Championship in 2017-18. Jason Brown has kept goal for both teams, and attacking duo Paul Dickov and El Hadji Diouf are also former Rovers who went on to represent Leeds. Matt Kilgallon began his career with the Whites, whilst Matt Grimes spent time on loan at both Rovers and at Elland Road from Swansea City. Simon Grayson is another to have played for both and went on to manage Leeds after hanging up his boots.

FAMOUS FANS

Hollywood actor Russell Crowe is up there as being one of the most famous Leeds supporters. Singer Michael Bolton is a fan of the Whites and band Kaiser Chiefs are all big fans as well. Golfing duo Colin Montgomerie and Padraig Harrington are also supposedly fans of the Yorkshire side.


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