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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Exiles head to Championship side Leeds United in the Carabao Cup

21 August 2017

Match Previews

PREVIEW | Exiles head to Championship side Leeds United in the Carabao Cup

21 August 2017

Leeds United will be looking to secure a place in the Premier League for the first time since 2004 with promotion from the Championship this season. The Whites weren’t far off securing that last season, finishing 7th and five points off a play-off spot – despite sitting in 5th place with five games to go.

Here, you can find out all the facts and statistics ahead of this Carabao Cup second round fixture.


Recent league and cup results.

Leeds, like County, have had an unbeaten start to the season in all competitions.

On the opening weekend, Leeds came through a tough test at newly-promoted Bolton Wanderers, winning 3-2 at the Macron Stadium. Midfielder Kalvin Phillips scored twice, as striker Chris Wood also got his first of the season.

In the Carabao Cup, Leeds United set up the meeting with County after a comprehensive 4-1 win over Port Vale at Elland Road.

Samu Saiz scored a hat-trick on his Leeds debut, before Caleb Ekuban completed the scoring in-front of 15,341 spectators.

After that opener and cup success, the Whites were held to two goalless draws at Elland Road.

Ben Pearson was sent off for Preston North End on the hour mark but his side held on, before Fulham were next to frustrate the home-side. 

Last weekend, Leeds secured a superb 2-0 away victory at Sunderland. Samu Saiz and Stuart Dallas scored in both halves to secure the victory at the Stadium of Light.



Team news and summer signings

As expected when a new manager comes in during the summer, Leeds United have had a major overhaul in their playing squad.

In fact, as many as 10 players have joined the club, with a further nine leaving the club.

The highest transfer fee was commanded by Pontus Jansson, who cost £3.6 million from Torino. The defender joined on loan last season, and made the move permanent at the end of last season.

Vurnon Anita has joined the club from Newcastle United, with the other additions coming from all across Europe.

The most notable departure from the club is Charlie Taylor, who rejected a new deal at Elland Road to join Burnley. At the time of writing, Chris Wood is still at the club but has also been linked with a move to the Premiership club.

Ahead of our meeting, Leeds have concerns over two defenders.

Everton loanee Matthew Pennington remains a doubt with the ankle injury sustained on the opening day of the season. Fellow defender and Switzerland international, Gaetano Berardi, also picked up an injury on the opening day, a shoulder injury bringing a halt to his season.

Another defender, Liam Cooper, made a welcome return at the weekend so may not risked again for our visit to Elland Road.


One To Watch – Samu Saiz

Age: 26

Position: Midfielder / Attacking Forward

Goals this season: 4

Previous clubs: Real Madrid C, Melilla, Atletico Madrid B, Getafe, Huesca


Saiz announced himself on English soil with a hat-trick on his Leeds United debut in the 4-1 win over Port Vale.

He has since featured in the games against Preston, Fulham and Sunderland, adding a further goal to his season tally on Saturday at the Stadium of Light.

Before moving to Leeds this summer for a reported £3 million fee, Saiz had been plying his trade in his native Spain.

He joined Real Madrid at the age of eight, progressing through the age-grades. Although never selected for the first-team, Saiz featured heavily for the B and C teams in the Spanish Capital.

He then moved to Melilla in 2011 before earning a move to Getafe the year later.

He made his La Liga debut with Getafe on April 1st 2014 before a move to Atletico Madrid in 2015.

Again, Saiz never made the first team but did train frequently with them, featuring mostly for the B team.

A loan spell and permanent move to Huesca came during last season, before Thomas Christiansen brought him to England this summer.


Manager – Thomas Christiansen

Christiansen, 44, took over at Leeds this summer for his third managerial job. 

Prior to that, he had successful spells at two Cypriot First Division clubs.

He led AEK Larnaca to successive runners-up finishes in 2015 and 2016 before leaving for Apoel FC. He won the league last season, suffering just two defeats and keeping 27 clean-sheets. He also helped them reach the last-16 of the Europa League and the Cypriot cup final.

Currently, his record as a manager is of a high pedigree, winning 59.2% of his 125 games managed, losing just 25 games in his managerial career to date.

Before management, Christiansen forged a good playing career, playing for sides including Barcelona, Villarreal, VFL Bochum and Hannover 96.  


Stadium – Elland Road

Built in 1897, Elland Road has been home to Leeds United since 1919.

With a capacity of 37, 890, County fans will be housed in the John Charles stand along one of the sides of the pitch; where up to 3,000 County can attend.

Leeds brought the stadium back in June this year, after selling it in 2004 due to financial difficulties.  


Previous meetings

County and Leeds have met on just one previous occasion.

That came in the 1948/49 season in the third round of the FA Cup.

The Exiles won the game at Elland Road 3-1 in front of 31,500 spectators.

County’s goals came from George Roffi, Eddie Carr and Len Comley; with Len Browning netting for Leeds.

The County team that day:

1. Alick Grant. 2. Lew Bradford. 3. Dougie Hayward. 4. George Roffi. 5. Ray Wilcox. 6. Danny Newall. 7. Harold Williams. 8. Len Comley. 9. Reg Parker. 10. Eddie Carr. 11. Bobby Harper.


Carabao Cup record

Leeds United have done extremely well in recent years of the Carabao Cup, reaching the quarter-finals twice in five years.

Those quarter-finals appearances came last season, where they lost to Liverpool 2-0, and in the 2012/13 season, where they lost 5-1 to Chelsea.

That game against Chelsea on 19th December 2012 was the last time that Leeds have lost a home tie in the Carabao Cup. 

Leeds also have the accolade of being winners of the competition.

That came in 1968, when they beat Arsenal in front of 97, 887 at Wembley.

Full-back Terry Cooper scored the winner on 20 minutes, the first trophy of Don Revie’s successful era at the club.

Leeds team that day: Sprake, Reaney, Cooper, Bremner (C), Charlton, Hunter, Greenhoff, Lorimer, Madeley, Giles, Gray (Belfitt)

They have also been losing finalists on one occasion, going down 3-0 to Aston Villa in 1996.



Referee: Ross Joyce

Assistant referee 1: Alix Pashley

Assistant referee 2: Matthew Jones

Fourth official: Peter Wright

Joyce is currently embarking on his 3rd season as a Football League referee.

Last season, Joyce refereed 44 matches, brandishing 132 yellow cards and 12 reds.

This season, Joyce has officiated on four games so far. The last of those was on Saturday, as Peterborough United beat Rotherham 2-1. He gave four yellow cards out that day, taking his season total to 11 yellows, with no red cards to date.

He also presided over the Conference play-off final on 17th May 2015 as Bristol Rovers beat Grimsby Town on penalties. Two yellow cards were awarded to both sides during the contest.


County Connection

Joyce has refereed County on two previous occasions. Unfortunately, the results don’t make positive reading for County.

In the 2011/12 season, County lost 2-0 at Sincil Bank to Lincoln City. Seven yellows were given during the game, four of which to County – Paul Rodgers, Lee Minshull, Max Porter and Romone Rose all booked.

In the 2016/17 season, County suffered a 2-1 defeat to Mansfield Town at Field Mill.

Janaai Gordon was sent off for County, for a second bookable offence, with Ryan Bird and Mitch Rose also booked. Two further yellow cards were awarded to the home side.



Can’t make the match?


You can follow along on social media using @NCAFCLive on Twitter, or via using the club’s official Facebook and Instagram pages.

As the game is a cup match, no live showing of this fixture will occur. However, commentary by Tim Thraves can be found on iFollow Exiles.

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