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Stuart Dalgleish 14th Oct 2011 - 9:52

Leeds to give Donny a Friday night fright

Doncaster Rovers v Leeds United - 19:45 live on Sky Sports 1

Leeds (13/10) head to local rivals Doncaster (19/10, draw 5/2) looking to get into the play-off spots with a win at the Keepmoat.

It would represent a remarkable turnaround in form for the Whites, as at the end of August they found themselves in 19th place and the doom merchants were out in force at Elland Road.

In fairness to Leeds, they've only really had one terrible performance, and that was at the start of the season when they were thoroughly outplayed by Southampton, their other defeats are games that could've gone either way.

Manager Simon Grayson deserves credit for changing the shape and style of the team; all last season they played with one up top (Luciano Becchio - 11/2 first goalscorer), but when injury claimed the Argentine, Billy Paynter stepped in and couldn't cut it.

Grayson finally realised after trying Ross McCormack (9/2) as a lone striker for the first part of the season that it wasn't working, only when Andy Keogh (6/1) was added to the strikeforce did United really start to fire the goals in.

Keogh himself has only bagged once, and it is likely that Becchio will replace him now he's fully fit. McCormack has been the player to shine though - scoring nine times in 12 appearances, including a run of six consecutive scoring league games, somehow Craig Levein didn't deem this good enough to get in the Scotland squad though.

United will be happy that he was snubbed though, as it means he's fresh and raring to go for this match with Doncaster.

Rovers, similarly to Leeds, are enjoying an upturn in form themselves since Dean Saunders was appointed manager.

The South Yorkshire outfit had a disastrous start to the season, and Sean O'Driscoll paid the price for overseeing just one draw in seven games with his job.

Saunders' arrival though seems to have breathed confidence into the squad, and they've won two and drawn one of his three games in charge so far.

A further boost to Donny is the signing of Chris Kirkland on loan from Wigan, the one-time England international is a great shot-stopper, and if he can keep fit he'll prove to be a great capture.

Jon Parkin (7/1) is a loan signing too, joining from Cardiff for an initial month, and the Leeds fans will be haunted forever by his hat-trick (50/1) against them last season in a quite ridiculous 6-4 win for Preston at Elland Road when they were 4-1 down at half-time, current Leeds keeper Andy Lonergan was in net for North End on the night.

Rovers will look to get it forward to the big man at every opportunity, knowing that he can cause centre-backs all sorts of hassle with his physical presence.

Billy Sharp (11/2), a one-time Leeds target, is still working his way back to fitness after injuring ankle ligaments on the first day of the season; he started the last match at Peterborough but didn't last the 90 minutes.

In that match at the Posh, Donny came from a goal down to win 2-1, but might the opposite happen to them on Friday night?

We have a Match Winner offer of Leeds to come from behind and win, just like they did in the Carling Cup clash earlier in the season, it was priced at 8/1, but we've put it out to a whopping 10/1!

With United's defensive woes, you always seem to be guaranteed goals (although they did keep their first clean sheet of the season in their last game), and the 6/10 on both teams to score would seem like a sensible bet, if you're feeling adventurous then over 3.5 goals at 2/1 is worth a punt too.

Leeds will be wary of the 'new manager syndrome' but I think they're good enough to come away with the points, 3-1 at 16/1 looks a good shout.



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