Leeds United will be looking to continue the rehabilitation of their early season form when they host hapless Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

After registering two draws and a defeat in their opening three matches, the Whites got their campaign up and running with a 4-3 win at hitherto unbeaten and early pacesetters Ipswich Town last weekend.

However, the bubble of that win was punctured on Tuesday night when Daniel Farke’s men were bundled out of the Carabao Cup by Salford City via the lottery of penalties following a 1-1 draw in regulation time.

The reaction to the defeat at the Peninsula Stadium was rather muted, an indifference that suggests that many Leeds fans believe that the focus should be on mounting a promotion challenge without the distraction of cup competitions.

To an extent, the selection for the trip to Salford City seemed to reinforce that opinion. It was a relatively strong squad, but still shorn of the services of a few players who started the win at Ipswich Town. Those players are expected to return to the starting line-up against the Owls when Leeds will be looking to continue on their upward trajectory.

New-look squad

There will also be a few new faces in the Leeds United squad after the club’s late foray into the transfer market to excellent effect.

Leeds United followed up the capture of striker Joel Piroe from Swansea City last week with the signing of midfielders Ilia Gruev from Werder Bremen and Glen Kamara from Rangers, while full-back Djed Spence arrived from Tottenham on a season-long loan.

At the time of writing, the transfer deadline rumour mill continued to link Wilfried Gnonto and Luis Sinisterra with moves to Everton and Burnley/Crystal Palace respectively. It is highly unlikely the club will allow the pair to leave just hours before the transfer window closes, especially after fighting so hard all summer to keep them at the club.

Daniel Farke on whether Gnonto/Sinisterra/Summerville will be here after the deadline: “Pretty confident.

“In this business, you can never give a 100 percent guarantee.”

One player who won’t be involved against the Owls is Sam Greenwood, who joined Middlesbrough on a season-long loan. Fellow striker Joe Gelhardt could also be on his way out, with Ipswich Town credited with an interest.

Cody Drameh is also heavily tipped to leave Elland Road before the transfer window closes. So, with right-back Sam Byram picking up an injury at Ipswich Town, Spence looks increasingly likely to make his bow on Saturday.

Farke on left-back: “We will stay awake until the final seconds of the window. We’ve got Junior Firpo and Sam Byram. I hope both will be back at the end of the international break.”

The arrivals of Gruev and Kamara offer Farke more selection opinions in midfield, where Archie Gray and Ethan Ampadu were beginning to emerge as Farke’s preferred central midfield pairing.

According Daniel Farke, Spence/Kamara should be available to play against Sheff Wed. Gruev still sorting paperwork so not sure yet.

There could yet be more arrivals and departures before the transfer window closes. On the whole, however, the Leeds United squad that looked wafer-thin after a raft of departures in the wake of relegation, a squad imperiled by mutiny and uncertainty over player contracts, suddenly looks solid and fit for purpose.

Owls’ baptism of fire

Sheffield Wednesday’s return to the Championship has so far not gone according to plan, with the Owls yet to a collect a single point after four matches.

I can’t see their luck changing here, especially against a Leeds United side looking the part, well, at least on paper.

Both Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday come into this clash on the back of Carabao Cup second round defeats in identical fashions – defeats on penalties after 1-1 draws in normal time against lower league opposition, Salford City and Mansfield Town respectively.

With zero points from a possible 12, even this early in the season it seems Sheffield Wednesday’s priority is to avoid an instant return to League One.

Meanwhile, after a stuttering start to the campaign, Leeds United, buoyed by new signings, will retain hope that they can haul themselves into promotion contention and make an instant return to the Premier League.

Same again, please

It’s a second successive league match for Leeds United against newly promoted opponents, and hopefully a similar positive outcome.

Daniel Farke’s men prevailed against Championship new-boys and then league leaders Ipswich Town away from home last time out. They are again fancied to prevail against league newbies and basement side Sheffield Wednesday at home on Saturday.

Leeds United, how do I love thee!


I'm Barrie Jarrett, born in Leeds, lived over a decade in South Africa, CEO And Co Founder of Planet Sport Limited and Planet Bet Limited.

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