The last time we went up to Elland Road Alex McCarthy was making a name for himself as a Reading goalkeeper, fast forward eight months and suddenly the roles have reversed with the England Under 21 International quickly becoming a fans favourite in Yorkshire. McCarthy won't be playing for Leeds today under the terms of his loan agreement and Reading travel north on the back of their biggest home win of the season, seeing off West Ham 3-0. Reading will be looking for a fourth win in five games on Saturday but can they pull it off?
To shed some more light on the subject Ryan Parish from The Scratching Shed shared his thoughts on his club and what Reading should watch out for on Saturday.
How would you rate the season so far?
It's exceeded expectations for me although we have been too inconsistent. Our home form has been hit and miss, for instance getting beat 2-1 by Barnsley the other week was disappointing as was the 5-0 defeat against Blackpool! Our away form has been excellent thanks to plenty of late goals so it's probably in your favour that Saturday's game is at Elland Road.
Has anybody stood out in the Championship for you? player or team wise?
Barnsley really suprised me when we played them. They put in a great team performance at Elland Road and deservedly took 3 points. They look a lot more organised than last year and they're creeping up the table so they could be this seasons suprise package.
Alex McCarthy won't be able to play on Saturday but how has he performed in his loan spell so far and will he go straight back into the team after this weekend?
Every Leeds fan would agree with me in saying he's been absolutely top class. When Lonergan got injured, Paul Rachubka was our second choice but he had a nightmare against Blackpool and had to be subbed at half time after 3 howlers so it's been a relief that McCarthy has been so reliable. Lonergan was back on the bench last weekend and I expect him to start on Saturday, he'd had an excellent season up until his injury so it would be harsh to leave him out but he's certainly got some competition now.
What are your best memories of Leeds v Reading?
I could be wrong but I think it was the 2004/05 season and I'm sure Rob Hulse scored twice against you at Elland Road on his debut. I think it finished 3-1 although I could have completely made that one up! We haven't really played each other that much in recent years.
And the worst?
Either of the two 0-0 games last year! Probably the Elland Road was the most disappointing as we really needed the 3 points to make the play-offs. Alex McCarthy played a blinder that day for your lot as well!
Who should Reading fans be wary of on Saturday?
Robert Snodgrass is the man in form at the minute. He's capable of creating things out of nowhere and has a deadly free-kick on him. I'm not sure if he'll be in the side on Saturday but McCormack is another to watch out for, he's been great for us this season, just needs a goal to get his confidence back I think.
Anybody Leeds don't want to face?
I'm intrigued to see Adam Le Fondre, he's one of them names who seems to have been scoring goals in the lower leagues for years so I'm interested to see if he can cut it. Simon Church looks a handful too, as does Jimmy Kebe if he's pulled his socks up!
Any tips for travelling Royals?
Stay at home - Elland Road is a miserable place to be in winter, particularly in that West Stand paying Ken Bates' prices! Nah, sing your hearts out and hopefully help try and generate some sort of atmosphere as it's been a bit quiet lately.
I'm going for a 2-1 Leeds win!
Thanks again to Ryan and you can follow him on twitter @ryanlufc