Doukara To Leed The Way At Elland RoadStats
Leeds v Middlesbrough
Leeds Utd go in search of their first win of the Championship season when they host Middlesbrough at 12.15pm on Saturday afternoon live on Sky Sports 1.
Leeds began their 2014/15 Championship campaign with a 2-0 defeat away to Millwall, having stuttered through a pre-season that included a defeat to Mansfield and draw with Chesterfield. The Elland Road club did, however, pick up a win in midweek when they hosted Accrington in the Capital One Cup.
Loanee Souleymane Doukara scored both goals in the 2-1 win,
while Swiss international Gaetano Berardi was shown a red card on debut, having joined the club from Sampdoria in the summer.
Middlesbrough, by contrast, began the season with three points following a 2-0 home win over Birmingham. And then followed that up with a 3-0 victory against Oldham in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night.
Boro also enjoyed wins over Rochdale and Hartlepool in pre-season but lost their final preparation game when going down 2-0 against Villarreal.
Summer signing Kike has scored in both of Boro’s games this season, with the one against Oldham coming after he was introduced from the bench for the final 30 minutes only. Daniel Ayala, Grant Leadbitter and Luke Williams have scored the team’s other three goals.
Leeds’ Gaetano Berardi is unavailable as he serves a suspension for the aforementioned red card that he picked up in midweek for a dangerous mid-air sliding tackle.
Billy Sharp could make his debut having joined the club from Southampton in midweek. Aidy White and Lewis Walters are both out injured.
Aitor Karanka will revert to a similar starting XI that beat Birmingham on the opening day, having utilised the full depths of his squad for the midweek cup game. Rhys Williams and Mustapha Carayol are both out due to injury.
Leeds have won this fixture 2-1 in each of the last two seasons. Last season it was goals from Ross McCormack and Jason Pearce that gave the Whites all three points, after Boro had Jason Steele sent off in the first half. The reverse fixture at the Riverside later in the season ended goalless.
There have been six red cards shown in the last six games between these two clubs, with three coming in one game at Elland Road back in 2011.
There’s not a lot of positivity surrounding Leeds United at the moment and they go into this Saturday’s game as big 23/10 outsiders on their home turf. Boro are priced at odds of 5/4 and the draw is a 23/10 chance.
At such an early juncture in the season it seems a little premature to write off Leeds United completely and odds of 23/10 on a home win are worth taking a chance on.
Souleymane Doukara opened his account in midweek and looks a good bet to score the first goal of the game here at odds of 7/1, and similarly at 21/10 to score anytime. Both sides have goals in them and thus Over 2.5 looks a good bet at odds of 20/21.