Aug 16, 2014 at 12.15pm UK at ​Elland Road
LeedsLeeds United
Sharp (88')
Sharp (89')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Ayala (28'), Leadbitter (77'), Friend (78')

Preview: Leeds United vs. Middlesbrough

Sports Mole previews Saturday's early Championship kickoff as Leeds host Middlesbrough at Elland Road.

With a new owner, a new manager and a plethora of new players at their disposal, Leeds United fans may have been hoping for a new start in their season opener last weekend.

However, it turned out to be a false dawn for David Hockaday's side as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat to Millwall, who only narrowly avoided relegation last season.

This Saturday brings about another chance for the club to register their first points of the new campaign as they host Middlesbrough at Elland Road.

Hockaday is likely to make a number of changes from the side that squeezed past Accrington Stanley in the League Cup on Tuesday, although Souleymane Doukara is expected to start again having scored both goals in the win.

Owner Massimo Cellino has moved to add more goals to make up for the departure of last season's top scorer Ross McCormack, bringing in Billy Sharp from Southampton this week.

Only time will tell whether that will be enough to replace McCormack's 29 league goals from the last campaign, but the new signing could be given the chance to get off to a dream start this weekend.

Big question marks continue to linger over Leeds's prospects for the upcoming season, and Hockaday will be keen to take the first step to putting them to bed in his side's opening home league game of the campaign.

Middlesbrough, meanwhile, have made a much more promising start to their season, comfortably winning both of their matches without conceding a goal.

Last weekend saw Aitor Karanka's side get their league campaign off to a very solid start, scoring in both halves to ease to a 2-0 win over Birmingham City at the Riverside.

Tougher tests will come over the next nine months, but for a side with hopes of a playoff push this season they will be happy with such a comfortable start.

That confidence will have only been boosted by a midweek victory over Oldham Athletic in the League Cup, with new signing Kike making it two goals in two games to help his side to a 3-0 victory.

Karanka will be without defender Ben Gibson this weekend after he suffered a hamstring strain that is expected to keep him out for up to a month.

However, there was good news at the Riverside this week as Adam Clayton finally completed his move to the club from Huddersfield Town.

Recent form


Middlesbrough: WWWLWW

Possible starting lineups

Leeds: Silvestri; Byram, Pearce, Wootton, Warnock; Austin, Murphy, Tonge; Ajose, Doukara, Sharp

Middlesbrough: Tomas; Hines, Woodgate, Ayala, Friend; Leadbitter, Whitehead, Adomah, Tomlin, Reach; Kike

Sports Mole says: 1-1

Who will win Saturday's match between Leeds and Middlesbrough?

Ivan Toney of Northampton Town celebrates after scoring his sides 2nd goal during the Capital One Cup First Round match against Wolves on August 12, 2014
Read Next:
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