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Match Preview


Posted Sat 20 Apr 13

Blues v Leeds match preview

Blues take on a resurgent Leeds United on Saturday afternoon in their penultimate home game of the season (3.00pm kick-off).

Since the appointment of former Reading boss Brian McDermott earlier this month, The Whites have claimed maximum points from their two games at Elland Road against Sheffield Wednesday and Burnley. Those results have seen the Yorkshire outfit overtake Blues in the table by a single point. Leeds are currently in 11th place, with Blues in 12th.

Lee Clark's side return to St. Andrew's following two away games. A hard-fought 2-2 draw against promotion-chasing Leicester City was followed by a 1-0 win at Bristol City, a defeat which relegated The Robins.

Blues have been one of the npower Championship's top six away sides this season, but their home form has let them down. In contrast Leeds have struggled on the road. For their last Championship victory on their travels you have to go back to December 1, when they beat Huddersfield 4-2.

Player-wise, Clark expects to name the same squad that he used against Leicester and Bristol.

"Touch-wood we haven’t picked up any new injuries and nobody is coming back to add to the squad," he said. “It will be the 18 that have been on duty for the last two games, plus Koby Arthur and Darren Ambrose.

"We’ve got one more training session to go which should be a light one. I want the players to have lots of energy in the tank for tomorrow."

Although outsiders may see Saturday's fixture as a dead rubber between two mid-table sides, Clark insists there are still plenty of incentives for the players. 

"It's a chance for us to mathematically confirm our status and the other target is to win the game and go above our opponents and finish as high up the division as we possibly can," said Clark.

"Individually players have lots to play for.  Players are out of contract and lots of loan players have said to me in meetings that they’d like to stay here and they are potentially playing for that opportunity, so everything is to play for as a group and as individuals."

In terms of Leeds, Clark feels the club has made a shrewd move in their appointment of McDermott, adding: "They've collected six points from six so he’s had a great start, but it doesn’t surprise me.

"He’s a terrific manager and I’ve got to know him since becoming a manager myself both professionally and socially and he’s a terrific man. He was probably a victim of his own success at Reading, but he seems the right choice for me for a club of that size and I think a lot of Leeds fans will be optimistic about the future.”

This will be the fourth meeting between the two sides so far this season. Blues won the corresponding league away game at Elland Road 1-0, but Leeds had the upper hand in the FA Cup third round. The first game finished 1-1 at Elland Road, with Leeds winning the replay at St. Andrew's 2-1.

"It's one of each result at the moment," added Clark. "I feel we probably should have had two wins. We shouldn’t have needed the third game because I thought we were excellent in the first cup tie at Elland Road and if we produce a similar performance in the league on Saturday I'd settle for that – but not the flat sort of performance we gave at St. Andrew's in the replay."

For ticket details click here.
Cheering for England -There are a host of St. George's Day activities taking place at St. Andrew's on Saturday. Find out more here.
To read Brian McDermott's comments, click here.

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    Posted today at 10:36 PM