By Mark Smith
With 11 games to play and eight points separating 4th and 7th, the play-offs are far from set in the Championship. Leeds’ trip to Craven Cottage tonight puts those two sides together as the away side look to tighten their grip on their play-off spot and widen the gap from the chasing and in-form Fulham.
Both sides come into this game on the back of 3-1 victories, even though the performances were very different. Leeds produced a real back to the wall performance away at Birmingham as they absorbed pressure through the game and finished their chances to come away with another vital three points.
Fulham on the other hand, continued to impress with their free-flowing football to beat Preston 3-1 and continue their charge up the table into 7th.
Leeds United assistant manager Pep Clotet says that Leeds go into this game “full of confidence” after Friday’s result in a recent interview with LUTV.
Spearheading Leeds’ promotion push is Chris Wood, now the Championship top scorer and the New Zealand international is brimming with confidence and scoring goals at will. His two goals at Birmingham took him to 22 goals for the season.
Fulham unbeaten in five matches, are relishing the visit of the in-form Leeds. Defender Michael Madl spoke to Fulham’s official website and spoke about the importance of winning their home games to close the gap to the play-offs. “We’re focused and I’m confident we can get the points we need. We have four home matches this month, which is positive.”
The London side are still without influential midfielder Brazilian Lucas Piazon, who also missed the game against Preston with a fractured jaw. The Cottagers are also missing forward Floyd Ayite.
The Whites come into the match with no fresh knocks and manager Garry Monk may be tempted to field an unchanged side. They do have the option of welcoming back Charlie Taylor and Ronaldo Vieira to the match day squad.
Leeds have worked their way up to 4th in the table since the reverse fixture at the beginning of the season as Leeds rescued a 1-1 draw with an injury time overhead kick from Chris Wood.
The last three meeting between the two sides have ended 1-1 so both sets of fans will be hoping for a more positive result.