Leeds United

Leeds United – five things fans will expect vs Burton Albion

The international break is soon to be over and football fans can of Sky Bet Championship sides get back to the bread-and-butter stuff of getting back on the terraces, throwing their support behind their teams.

Leeds United fans are amongst that group of fans getting back into the swing of things, and will be looking at their side ahead of kick-off on Saturday in a more than favourable manner. The Whites sit in third place in the Championship table, unbeaten in five games and with four consecutive clean sheets.

Saturday will be a case of 3rd against 21st when Leeds United welcome Burton Albion to Elland Road at the weekend, a game where the Brewers will be facing another 30,000-plus crowd of baying United fans.

With that in mind, here’s five things that Whites fans will expect – starting with the obvious.

1. Goals and three points: Leeds United have a strikeforce that bristles and fizzes with energy and threat deep back beyond the frontman. Whereas Leeds United 2016/17 largely relied on Chris Wood and his 27-goal threat, this iteration of the Whites is different.

With Wood gone before the Sunderland game, there was always the chance that Leeds would sink before even getting to float, nevermind swim. That wasn’t to be the case though, a thoroughly professional display against Sunderland was followed up by a dominant display against a good Nottingham Forest side.

Whites fans will be hoping that a game against lowly Burton, with a Leeds front-five containing Samu Saiz, Gianni Alioski, Kemar Roofe, Pablo Hernandez and new signing Pierre-Michel Lasogga, will be a game where goals will flow and three points will be secured.

2. A display in front of the 30,000-plus fans: In truth, Leeds fans want one thing more than a win and some goals – they also want a display. There is a sense of much optimism at Elland Road, and rightly so. The club has been turned around somewhat since Andrea Radrizzani took the reins, there has been much restructuring of what was a lumbering giant.

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Now that giant is starting to stand upright, a process begun last season under Garry Monk and now being pushed forward under the ‘unheralded’ Thomas Christiansen. Five unbeaten in the league, two lower league sides smashed in the Carabao Cup, solid defensively, Leeds United’s legion of fans will be expecting a display with fireworks on their return to Elland Road after the international break.

3. Something of a sign from Pierre-Michel Lasogga: With any new striker/deadline day signing there is always that intangible, and gripping, fear that a club has signed something of a dud. There are more than a handful of Leeds United fans that think this is the case with Pierre-Michel Lasogga, a deadline day loan from SV Hamburg.

Countering this quite pessimistic view of Lasogga are Leeds fans who point out that the Whites might seriously have an accomplished striker on their hands. He is a player who has regularly made the starting line-up in the German Bundesliga. He is a player who has regularly played football at a higher level than the Championship. He is a player who has regularly scored goals in the past.

That’s probably where the fear comes from for the worried Leeds United fans, the “in the past” part of that statement. What Lassoga needs to do, aided by the rest of the Leeds United side of course, is put on something of a display. In all honesty, class-wise he is likely above the rest of what Leeds have to offer in the frontman role – a display where he shows this would be welcomed by Leeds United fans.

4. More of the same defensively: Greedy I know, but as well as a win and goals Leeds fans will want to see that continued assurance at the back of the side. In a way, if is that platform that has made the Whites that frightening proposition that they are of late.

Teams have not really been able to dominate Leeds for long spells this season, United looking more than adept at defending this season – something that fans find reassuringly refreshing. It’s not only a solid platform at the back that has provided this stability either, the Whites actually do drop back and defend as a team.

It is this sense of defensive spirit that the Whites need to continue to show tomorrow against a Burton side that, on paper, they should easily beat. Trouble with paper is, it gives decisively nasty little cuts.

5. Continued improvement: The good form before the international break shouldn’t be allowed to slide into anything even remotely resembling apathy. Leeds built up some serious momentum ahead of their sabbatical break from football, that momentum cannot be allowed to wain.

Leeds’ form coming back from international breaks has been pretty much abysmal of late. Of the last 12 breaks and returns to action, Leeds haven’t won a single one. Their last return from an international break that brought a victory was in November 2013 and a win against Middlesbrough at Elland Road. Since then, 12 games, no wins, 10 losses and just two drawn games.

Leeds United need to put in all of the above and more to ensure that a third place start ahead of the game is capitalised on with victory, three points and a march even higher up the league.

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