Brentford Old Boys Will Enjoy Victory As Unbeaten Leeds March On

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Patrick Gunn
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Hang on a minute... A Saturday? At Elland Road? A 3pm kick-off?! Someone call Sky and make sure everyone's okay! Has Rupert fallen down the stairs again? Is everyone too busy comparing Anthony Martial's Football Manager stats to Charlie Austin's?

Assuming Mr Murdoch's okay and still as evil as ever, let's not dwell too much on the fact that we've actually been given a normal kick-off time and look ahead to Saturday's visit of Brentford. You never know, we could still be stuck on Sky Sports 5 at 12:30 instead of another re-run of Football's Greatest: Anders Limpar...

Last season, Brentford played the part of one of those arrogant teams that swans into the league, claiming to be all small and easily-beaten, before rolling over just about everyone in their path and nearly going up at the first attempt.

Granted, Leeds were close to doing just the same in 2011-2012, but had the common courtesy at least to finish just outside the play-offs, showing respect to those teams that had been in the league for a longer time (unlike Norwich, the bloody show-offs). Brentford however, in true arrogant Londoner style, decided that they couldn't be bothered being patient in their first Championship season, and pipped historical big-boys Derby to a play-off spot in a flagrant display of disrespect.

Luckily, Middlesbrough were able to put "The Bees" (yeah, red & black, I know...) firmly in their place in the play-off semi-finals, beating them 5-1 on aggregate before gracefully bottling it themselves in the final. Good show, Boro.

In what transpired to be two hugely juxtaposing seasons for Brentford and Leeds respectively, 2014-15 saw the Londoners take all six points from the two games between the sides, winning 2-0 at Griffin Park in September and 1-0 at Elland Road in February. In fact, Leeds haven't managed to beat Brentford in their last four attempts, the last victory coming in 1954 - a 4-0 win for Raich Carter's side in the old Second Division. The sides didn't meet again until December 2009, drawing 0-0 in a League One game at Griffin Park.

This season, things are looking a tad rosier so far up North, with Leeds sat in 10th, three points ahead of a Brentford side who have lost two on the bounce since picking up a scrappy 4-2 win away at Bristol City. The Bees have recently lost star-striker Andre Gray in a stupendously expensive £9 million deal, with Burnley the side eventually willing to fork out the fee for last season's top scorer (16 in the league).

Brentford have brought in Austrian international Marco Djuricin from Red Bull Salzburg to replace Gray, the 22-year old remaining in London to train with his new team-mates after not being included in the Austria squad that confirmed their European Championship qualification this week. As such, Djuricin could well make his debut at Elland Road on Saturday.

In a similar vein, it would be unlikely to see Leeds new boy Jordan Botaka on Saturday, the Congo international has only had a few days to train with his new team after joining up with his national side over the international break. The deadline day capture from Dutch side Excelsior will be gunning to challenge an out-of-form Sam Byram for his place on the right side of the Leeds attack, but will probably have to wait until Tuesday's game against Ipswich for a chance to prove himself. A spot on the bench is a possibility of course, but it is not in Uwe Rosler's nature to throw an unproven entity straight into first team action.

Former Brentford men Stuart Dallas and Tom Adeyemi are exceptions to that rule, both making an immediate impression on the first team after joining, but benefited from a past relationship with Head Coach Rosler, who had coached both during his own time on the sidelines at Griffin Park.

With such a hefty ex-Brentford contingent at Elland Road, there is sure to be an added spice to proceedings come Saturday afternoon, with Rosler, Dallas and Adeyemi hoping to get one over on their old employers. The 2-1 win at Derby before the international break will have put Leeds in high spirits, still yet to suffer a defeat, while the visitors will be itching to put their campaign back on track following their 3-1 home defeat to Reading.

Brentford, while suffering slightly at present following some expensive losses in the transfer market, are still a very good footballing side, overseen by a manager in Marinus Dijkhuizen (who I shall now refer to as Madge) who is still getting to grips with this league.

In a weird twist of fate, Madge will be well-versed in the game of aforementioned Leeds new boy Botaka, who he coached last season at Excelsior before making the same move across to England. Whether Botaka will be able to give his new boss any tips on the style of his old one is another question, but it certainly wouldn't hurt Leeds to have a little insight on their opponents' approach as they look to end the current winless streak against the visitors.

Feeling positive about this one. Aside from a ridiculous 20 minutes in the second half, Leeds looked good against a strong Derby team, controlling the majority of the game. At home, against a struggling Brentford side still coming together as a squad, Rosler's team should have the quality to capitalise on any opportunities and put the visitors to the sword early on. Then it's simply a case of proving they can hold onto a lead (which has to happen at some point, right?).

Read more from Patrick at his Leeds United website Harte and Soul

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