This week’s opposition view comes to us via our SB Nation amigos over at Leeds blog Through It All Together and their writer James Mahoney.
How would you sum up your season so far?
It has been an unbelievable season for Leeds so far, the buzz around club takes me back to my youth when we were challenging the Premier League’s elite. We started the season very slowly and it looked like we were destined to once wallow in the depths of the Championship. However, sometime in the middle of September something just clicked and we haven’t looked back.
How has Garry Monk been able to succeed where so many others have failed?
Monk has succeeded where others have failed because he was given the necessary time to instil his philosophy throughout the team. Even in the early stages of the season when we were struggling you could see the positive changes Monk was making and for the first time in a long time a Leeds manager was allowed to build slowly and we are now seeing the rewards. Also, I think the quality of Garry Monk’s management team has also be a huge factor in the success. The tactical awareness of Pep Clotet and the offensive knowledge of James Beattie has been key.
What are the early impressions about the new ownership structure?
It is very early days but judging on what I have seen so far things look positive. Andrea Radrizzani is active on social media and often interacts with the fans which is nice to see. The fans want to see the club move forward in a sustainable way and I think looking at Radrizzani’s love of the game and his experience within the business world, Andrea Radrizzani will make a big difference long term. Also, we haven’t heard anything from Massimo Cellino in a long time which is a nice feeling, so for the first time in a long time everything seems ok with the ownership at Elland Road.
Chris Wood is the obvious one we'll be watching out for, but who else should we be wary of?
Alfonso Pedraza has really impressed me over the last few weeks and with him and his pace and technical ability, we could hurt Reading. I expect Reading to dominate the possession and it is on the counter where we will need to attack from and if Pedraza can replicate his recent form, he can hurt Reading.
Any Reading player that concerns you?
I have been impressed with John Swift, he looks like his set to be a real talent and our defensive midfielders need to contain him in the middle of the park, otherwise we may struggle on Saturday. Yann Kermorgant is another player that could decide the game, a player who like Wood is a proven striker at this level and our defensive need to fully prepared if we want to win the game.
Do you think both sides will end up in the top six?
The results just before the international break favoured Leeds massively and, with the gap now eight points between us and 7th, I believe we will now finish in the Play-off positions.
With Reading, I felt in recent weeks you had started to struggle and I felt teams had found you out but the Sheffield Wednesday result was massive and with Fulham starting to falter, I think both teams will finish in the top 6.
Finally, give us a score prediction?
1-0 Leeds. I think it will be tight game with few chances but I just feel the momentum is with Leeds at the moment and we will have too much for Reading. However, this is the Championship and anything can happen.