After a week off for most of the players to recharge their batteries it is back to action for Leeds United with testing back to back away games against sides who were recently in the Premier League.
Brian McDermott’s men are unbeaten away from home so far this season, but will do well to maintain that record as they go to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday then face the manager’s previous club, Reading, the following Wednesday.
Bolton, managed by former Leeds player Dougie Freedman, were many people’s favourites for promotion before a ball was kicked, but have suffered a surprisingly poor start to the season, having failed to win in the Sky Bet Championship so far despite splashing out on players in the summer and having many of their Premiership squad still at the club.
In defence they can include one-time United transfer target Matt Mills as well as ex England under 21 international Zat Knight, in midfield the likes of the rated Jay Spearing and Chris Eagles can supply ammunition and up front they have real firepower from former Leeds favourite Jermaine Beckford, Kevin Davies, David N’Gog and Craig Davies, who was a real Whites scourge in his Barnsley days.
Leeds will hope they are still misfiring on Saturday as they aim to get straight back to winning ways after losing for the first time in their previous game against QPR.
The Whites’ line-up will depend on how their players came through their international matches in the last week .
Paul Green played for the Republic of Ireland against Austria, but Ross McCormack was on the bench for Scotland. Leeds skipper Rodolph Austin was sent-off in Jamaica’s 0-0 draw in Panama and was forced to miss their World Cup qualifier at home to Costa Rica.
He has declared his intention to play at Bolton, but after similar travels back last season he was not at his best so manager McDermott will have to carefully monitor his captain’s fatigue factor.
Elsewhere in the team McDermott has a few selection decisions to make after disappointing displays from several players against QPR. Forwards Dominic Poleon and Matt Smith are putting pressure on for starting spots while El Hadji Diouf could come in although he is short of match practice. Defensively, Scott Wootton and Jason Pearce are likely to continue their centre-back partnership that has started promisingly.