Sunderland are crap & Leeds aren't much better; five top-tastic things to watch in LUFC v SAFC

Chris Coleman has Sunderland heading for relegation, and Paul Heckingbottom has Leeds in relegation

by Brandon_Rawlin Saturday, 07 April 2018 09:40 AM Comments
Chris Coleman has Sunderland heading for relegation, and Paul Heckingbottom has Leeds in relegation form, so this afternoon's clash at Elland Road has all the ingredients to produce a banter-filled epic of calamity and carnage. Here's the 5 top-tastic things to expect...


5. Two godawful managers producing godawful football

Who really knows how close Leeds boss Paul Heckingbottom got to replacing Simon Grayson at Sunderland, but on the evidence of how he's performed at Elland Road since being appointed in February, the Barnsley native probably wouldn't have fared much better than Chris Coleman has.  

Leeds have managed just 9 points from Heck's first ten games in charge and over the course of a season, that form would have had the Yorkshire mob battling it out with us and his old club Barnsley for relegation to League One. 

Plodding, ponderous football and conceding more goals since their new boss arrived than everyone else bar Reading and Sunderland, Leeds are looking pretty rubbish right now. 

In the opposition dugout, Chris Coleman has failed to effect any improvement in any department at Sunderland with his side continuing to concede soft goals and struggling to find the net up the other end. It could be minging this afternoon, but equally it could actually be an entertaining game between two crap sides.

4. Watch the keepers

You could argue that Leeds have failed to build on their near-play off campaign last year because the goalkeepers signed his season have been pap, and you could equally argue that Sunderland will be relegated to League One next month because the goalkeepers signed this season have been utterly pap. 

Lee Camp will probably be in goal for the Black Cats by default today because Jason Steele is a) actually worse and b) too mentally feeble to deal with an Elland Road crowd, whilst Leeds have plumped for youngster Bailey Peacock-Farrell in recent games because his two senior team mates are dire. 

The Northern Ireland U21 international hasn't been bad, but that's probably in comparison with Felix Wiedwald who went before him. A goalkeeping error or two is nailed on today and all bets are on Camp giving the home crowd a laugh. 

Dropped from the Leeds matchday squad entirely, Felix Weidwald was snapped dog walking on Tuesday as his teammates took on Fulham

3. Over 2.5 goals is the bet this afternoon

Anyone fancying a flutter later should probably stick a couple of quid on the game producing over 2.5 goals. Six of Leeds last 8 home games have produced 3 goals or more whilst half of Sunderland's last chunk of away fixtures have returned over 2.5 goals and the Black Cats have conceded more on the road than everyone else in the Championship this season. 

In fact, away games involving Sunderland have resulted in more goals than every other team in the league this term as the Black Cats are the only side in the Championship to have averaged over 3 goals scored and conceded in matches on their travels. 

Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals will net you odds of around 6/5 for this one. Probably worth a couple of quid. 

2. Expect a red

This afternoon's sides possess the worst disciplinary records of any team in the Championship bar Preston North End. Perhaps it's the ghost of Simon Grayson who has managed Sunderland, Leeds and Preston that's resulted in such a stat but a red card is a good bet today. 

Sunderland and Leeds both top the 'sending off' league with six apiece this season - more than everyone else - and a feisty atmosphere between these two old foes possesses all the potential for a dismissal later today. 

1. If the 'Derby team' turn up, Sunderland could batter Leeds here

Sunderland are dire at home and hit-and-miss on the road. Moderately better on their travels, if the Black Cats can summon whatever inspired that 4-1 demolition of Derby a little over a week ago, they really should be capable of returning up the A1 with three points. 

Leeds are generally poor, stuck in some sort of second half of the season malaise and have plenty of players out injured. Heckingbottom's side looks every bit a team going through the motions until the new man can stamp his mark on the squad in the summer. 

If there's any fight left within Chris Coleman's men, this afternoon is the time to show it. A win today followed up by three points against Norwich on Tuesday would have everyone talking of miracles again.