Will Frank Lampard ensure Leeds' season ends in crushing disappointment?
The two big Spygate players come head-to-head once again, with the stakes much, much higher this time around.
Marcelo Bielsa’s frankly hilarious dismantling of Frank Lampard’s complaints in regards Leeds’ training ground spy was peak Bielsa, and it all gave us a good laugh at the time. Leeds won the subsequent game 2-0 to put them seven points ahead of third-place Sheffield United at the top of the Championship.
Fast-forward four months: Leeds fell apart in quite spectacular style to miss out on the automatic promotion places, and Lampard has an opportunity to exact revenge.
The Rams come into this first-leg at Pride Park on the back of just one defeat from their last 12 matches, and their record on home soil has generally been excellent; four straight wins in their own back yard—scoring 15 times and conceding just twice—will give the manager, players and fans alike great confidence for Saturday’s game.
And what to say about Leeds?
There was always that underlying risk of ‘burn out’—something Bielsa naysayers warned us about for so long—and nine defeats since the turn of the year suggests there is certainly something awry. From a position of comfort and dominance, Leeds now have to pick themselves up and scrap it out in the play-offs.
Ending the season with one point from four matches—including a defeat to Ipswich—is poor, no matter what way you look at it, but you’d surely expect the improve for this match. They can’t be much worse than they were last weekend against The Tractor Boys, that’s for sure.
I was tempted to back a Derby victory as my Best Bet, but instead I’m backing Harry Wilson to score at any time.
Derby’s Welsh wizard has netted 15 times this campaign—more than any other Rams player by some distance—making 7/2 for a goal on Saturday look quite a nice prospect.
Kiko Casilla has conceded eight in his last four matches, which is an ominous sign for when he comes up against this Derby side who are scoring goals for fun – let’s just hope Wilson is the one doing the damage.