County will be looking for their third win in a row as they travel to Elland Road tomorrow to face joint table toppers Leeds Utd.
County were the victims of a League double at the hands of United last season, going down 3-1 at Edgeley Park and unluckily 1-0 at ER.
Carl Baker, who now has seven goals in three games (including two hattricks), put The Hatters ahead in the third minute in front of a packed Edgeley Park in December last season, but Leeds rode their luck and came back strong with now Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph scoring a 40 yard lob in front of the Cheadle End.
And at Elland Road last season, Leeds picked up their ninth home win in a row over a very young Hatters side, with Jonny Howson grabbing the winner.
County will travel tomorrow without assistant manager John Ward, who left Edgeley Park earlier today to link up with Aidy Boothroyd at Colchester Utd.
And as for tomorrow…it can’t happen, can it? County will go there under no pressure and able to ‘enjoy their game’, according to manager Gary Ablett, but the County fans who make the trip across to Elland Road will be under no illusions of the test we face.
Gary Ablett: ‘Not many people will give us a chance but the lads in our dressing room are full of confidence.’
‘It’s a massively tough game for us but I think all the pressure’s on Leeds. We can go there and try to enjoy yourselves.’
‘We know it’s going to be difficult but we’ve a little bit of quality in that dressing room as the last two or three games have shown.’
Leeds boss Simon Grayson: ‘I see Stockport as a good, young, enthusiastic team.’
‘They had two great results recently winning at Crewe and Brighton and what they’ve got is a group trying to make a name for themselves in the game because they’re not that experienced.
‘We’re under no illusions that this is going to be a really tough game for us because it’s a team that gets some good results away from home.’
Leeds Team News:
New defensive signing Leigh Bromby will be handed a debut. Bromby will be deputising in place of regular centre back Rui Marques, whose away on international duty with his nation Angola.
Captain Richard Naylor will miss out with a persistent back problem, and full back Ben Parker will face a late fitness test after missing out last week with a hamstring strain.
Player to watch: Jermain Beckford
Although facing a team including Becchio, Howson, Snodgrass, Bromby etc, Beckford is the one who stands out.
Being placed on the transfer list at his own request this summer and subsequently removed from the list as the season got underway didn’t seem to faze Beckford, who grabbed a brace in their opening day win over Exeter, and has been in a rich vein of form since.
Good luck, Luca Havern.
County Team News:
Owain fon Williams will return to the starting eleven after sitting out Tuesday’s 4-1 thrashing of Crewe.
Peter Thompson was also dropped for the Football League Trophy win, in place of new striker from Reading on loan until January, Nicholas Bignall.
Bignall will probably be handed his first league start with the Hatters, and Thompson may miss out again.
Chelsea loanee Liam Bridcutt will play (although with the revelations about the Stamford Bridge club this week, we may see Bridcutt recalled by Carlo Ancelotti (!)).
Player to watch: Carl Baker
Seven goals in three games. Two hattricks. The main man for the Hatters at the moment.
Come on County.
Match Facts & Stats
Match odds courtesty of Betfair:
Leeds – 1/3
Draw – 9/2
County – 11/1
1-0 County. Possibly?
Sat 12th September ’09
Yeovil Town – Huish Park