It’s Yorkshire Derby time again this weekend as Leeds United make the trip over from West Yorkshire in what promises to be a real cracker.
There have been goals and incident galore in the games between the sides in recent years but it would be rude of us not to look back to that momentous occasion played out between the sides at Wembley in May 2008.
Going into the game many outsiders arguably fancied the side from Elland Road to emerge victorious and promoted back into the Championship but in our corner of South Yorkshire the winners were only coming from one place. The performance of Rovers in the opening 30 minutes told the story of what was to come on a historical day in the capital.
After just eight minutes Jason Price smashed a good opportunity over the crossbar, before Richie Wellens then took aim before hitting the side netting as Rovers piled on the pressure with Gary McAllister’s side unable to contain Sean O Driscoll’s side.
Leeds then had to thank goalkeeper, Casper Ankergren, for keeping them in the game, with James Coppinger and James Hayter both being denied by the big Danish stopper.
Such was the dominance of Rovers it took Leeds almost 40 minutes to get an effort of note on target, Jermaine Beckford shooting at goal but Neil Sullivan was perfectly placed to grasp the ball. The first period ended like it started, with Rovers on the front foot as Hayter again went close, the only surprise as the players left the field was how Rovers hadn’t broken the deadlock.
Many expected a reaction from the Elland Road side as the second half began but they were to be stunned into almost silence when Rovers crafted a superb chance for Hayter to head home from 12 yards.
Jonny Howson tried to drive Leeds forward but his teammates just didn’t seem at the races, in fact they were left to fire shots from distance as Rovers continued to impose themselves on the game. Beckford did manage to get a shot in from close range but the acute angle favoured Sullivan who was able to deal with the shot with relative ease.
Going into the final ten minutes Leeds monopolised possession, but couldn’t break through a tremendous defensive performance from Rovers and even with the addition of five minutes of stoppage time it was to be a fruitless journey to the capital for United who were to miss out on promotion in a playoff final for the second time in three years.
Stats v Leeds United
The Facts & Figures ahead of the Yorkshire clash with Leeds United this weekend.
Overall the visitors this weekend have the lead in victories, but if the last five encounters have anything to go by they’ll certainly have to fight for any ambitions of taking three points home.
Rovers have only failed to score once in the last five games between the sides and there has been an almost unbelievable 22 goals scored in total. Rovers average a goal per game in games played at home against the Whites.
Both Leeds United and Doncaster Rovers are equal in the amount of clean sheet either side have kept. 5 times each in this fixture.
There has only been two out of the 23 games between the sides played in December in South Yorkshire and they have both resulted in the points being shared. A 0-0 draw in 1952 and a 4-4 draw a couple of years earlier in 1950.
The Football League sponsors Sky Bet have Leeds United as favourites going into Saturday's game offering odds of 6/5 for them to record the victory at the Keepmoat.
Fancy Rovers to win and repeat the scoreline from the Play Off Final Sky Bet are offering 8/1 for Rovers to win 1-0.
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*Odds correct as of 11/12/13
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