Tuesday's game against Leeds United is certainly a big match, so it's worth getting as much info ahead of it as possible.
We've already talked to Leeds fan and writer Jon Mackenzie, but now we're checking in with fellow SB Nation site Through It All Together. They told us about SpyGate, Leeds' Premier League ambitions and more.
Last time out, you edged Reading to move into second. How have Leeds come on since then?
Well, Leeds are still second, although we’ve been top of the league a good deal in between that time. We have only dropped down to third on goal difference with Leeds, Sheffield United, and Norwich City all separating themselves from the pack. Two out of these three will get automatic promotion with the third having to go through the playoffs.
What have you made of Reading this season?
It seemed to be quite the fall from grace to be going from playoffs to struggling to stay in the league in only a couple seasons, but it looks like you guys finally have a manager and some players that can get the team to safety at least. If you guys could be the ones to send Millwall down, that’d be great for the rest of the league.
What did you make of the infamous 'SpyGate' incident with Frank Lampard's Derby County?
Given the form of Derby, I think Frank Lampard should be more concerned about Derby County than what an intern may or may not have seen from the road. It is interesting that the EFL couldn’t actually find any rule that Leeds had broken, but rather violated the “charter” which sounds sneakily like they were just mad that someone from Argentina made a fool out of the golden child Lampard.
It seems like a lot has been made out of an incident while silence from the EFL on a couple of other subjects which probably deserve more attention, such as the players at Bolton Wanderers not getting paid or whatever is going on over at Coventry.
If Leeds get into the Premier League, realistically can they stay there?
My heart says yes, but it’s gonna be very, very tough. The gulf between the “haves” and the “have-nots” in England has never been greater, and while Bielsa might be able to keep a rag-tag assortment of players up, I’m not sure if it’s going to be sustainable beyond him. If the club spends its money wisely, then perhaps, but it all seems like counting chickens before they hatch right now. I don’t even like thinking about promotion, much less writing about it, because of superstition. I’m not gonna be the one that jinxes Leeds.
Tactically, how do you think Marcelo Bielsa will approach this match?
There is no “plan B” under Bielsa, for better or worse, so it’s gonna be more of the same. Leeds will play a high press, try to control possession and tempo, and will create a ton of scoring chances. If Leeds can convert at least one of those chances, then it’ll be a good day for Leeds, if not, it will be the Queens Park Rangers match all over again.
How do you see the game going, and what will the score be?
Leeds will take a first-half lead and control possession, waste a few chances and ultimately run out as 1-0 winners.