Five questions that need to be answered when Leeds United face Derby County

Chris Wood.
Chris Wood.
0
Have your say

Leeds United face Derby County on Tuesday night in the Championship.

Here are five questions that can be answered tonight:

Will Sky be able to broadcast the game?

It is an entirely unprecedented situation in modern football. Sky Sports find themselves waiting to find out if they will be able to show Tuesday’s game from Elland Road after Massimo Cellino told employees to refuse them entry. They were turned away from the ground on Monday and have a time limit on when they can set up on Tuesday. The TV guides still suggest the game will be shown, but it seems increasingly likely that there will be no broadcast.

Can Chris Wood get back into goalscoring form?

Say what you will about Chris Wood, but he is important to the team’s shape and leads the line effectively. However, Leeds fans seem to be losing their patience with his finishing. The Kiwi striker has not scored since the game against Hull City on December 5. A tally of seven goals by December is not staggeringly bad, but it would be to the 24-year-old’s benefit if he turned around his form in front of the net on Tuesday night. The reverse fixture against Derby was probably his crowning moment in a Leeds shirt, his late stunner sealing all three points for United. He will be hoping he can do the same on Tuesday.

Can Leeds push up the table?

When Leeds lost to Rotherham United on November 21, it was genuinely reasonable to suggest they were in a relegation battle. A good run, including five games without a defeat, has moved United up the Championship. Victory against Derby, who are second, would move Leeds into 11th and comfortably into the top half. Steve Evans revealed that his agreement with Massimo Cellino is that the Italian owner will invest if Leeds are six points away from the play-offs in January. Victory could put them as close as four points.

With suitors circling, will Sam Byram continue to impress?

Sam Byram’s form has improved staggeringly in the last three games, scoring three times. He is understandably picking up Premier League interest as a result. Liverpool were the latest side to be linked with a cut-price deal at the weekend. The situation for Byram is as follows: he can move in January if a club match Leeds’ valuation, which seems to be around £5-7 million, or move in the summer with a fee set by a tribunal. Steve Evans hinted that that sum would be around £2 million on Sunday. If he keeps up his good form, it is difficult to see teams waiting until the summer to bolster their ranks with a clearly talented player.

Will Sol Bamba replace Giuseppe Bellusci after Sunday’s mistake?

Giuseppe Bellusci was rightly keeping Sol Bamba out of the side despite the captain’s return to fitness. The Italian defender’s form meant it would have been foolish to upset a balanced defence. However, Sunday’s mistake arguably cost Leeds three points, with Nottingham Forest crafting few other genuine opportunities. Bamba has regularly been seen as a better option than Bellusci since he arrived at Elland Road in January - will Steve Evans turn to him after being given a reason to rethink his defensive options?