Duo to be outclassed: Three things to expect from Leeds against Newcastle
COMMENT By Dominic Toner
Leeds travel to Newcastle on Friday night in the Championship as two of the top six clash.
The Yorkshire giants will be looking to build on a comfortable win over Preston as they look to consolidate their position in the play-off spots.
Meanwhile, the Magpies are aiming to bounce break from a defeat at Sheffield Wednesday as they aim to secure automatic promotion.
Here, Football Insider looks at three things to expect from the highly anticipated league encounter.
Vieira and Phillips to be outclassed
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Leeds are likely to continue with the midfielder pairing of Ronaldo Vieira and Kalvin Phillips against Newcastle, with the two academy graduates impressing against Preston. Vieira, 18, and Phillips, 21, will certainly pose some serious questions to the Newcastle midfield and they will be expecting a battle. The Whites have two very talented youngsters at their disposal and it’s a credit to Monk for the way he has introduced the pair. However, a trip to St James’ Park may be a step too far for them and the class of Jonjo Shelvey should shine through, with the experienced Mo Diame alongside him. The Magpies are expected to dictate the ball at home and it could be a very long night for the Leeds midfielders if there is an early goal.
Roofe to cause problems
Kemar Roofe will go into this game in great spirits after starring in the recent 3-0 win over Preston. Leeds’ 24-year-old has endured a mixed season at Eland Road so far, but recaptured his best form at the weekend. He could be handed a starting berth by manager Garry Monk and it would be fully deserved after scoring against Preston. He offers a more direct approach than some of Leeds’ other wide man and can be expected to cause problems for the Newcastle defence. Roofe will be keen to run at the full-backs and will hope to link-up with forward Chris Wood.
This match is huge for both sides and a defeat for either could inflict a real blow to their individual aims. Leeds are desperate to secure their play-off spot and have five games remaining to do so. The Whites have a five-point cushion over chasers Fulham and could be under severe pressure if they lose on Friday. Meanwhile, Newcastle are second-placed in the table and in a very strong position to secure automatic promotion. However, they lost away to Sheffield Wednesday in their last game and a defeat to Leeds could put them in a dangerous situation. Third-placed Huddersfield could move just four points behind Newcastle if they won their games in hand and it would cast doubt into Rafael Benitez’s side. The Leeds/Newcastle clash could be deduced by just the one goal in what should be a tight affair.
In other Leeds news, the talkSPORT super computer has predicted the club’s end of season finish.