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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: LEEDS UNITED v WIGAN ATHLETIC

24 December 2014

Latics head to Elland Road for Boxing Day clash.

  • Mackay goes in search of first Latics win with bumper crowd expected at Elland Road.
  • A look back at 2004 win at Leeds.
  • The Whites profiled with key man Mirco Antenucci highlighted.
Latics travel to Yorkshire on Friday (Boxing Day) to face Leeds United as Malky Mackay looks to bring festive cheer with his first win as manager.

After narrow defeats in his last four fixtures, Mackay is hoping luck will change as Latics go up against a former player in Neil Redfearn who is in charge of the Whites.

The hosts are without a win on Boxing Day since 2009 whilst it’s also four years since Latics last recorded a win on 26th December; a 2-1 win at Wolves thanks to goals from Hugo Rodallega and Tom Cleverley.

CLASSIC MATCH


Leeds United 0 – 2 Wigan Athletic
Sunday 31st October 2004
Championship
Elland Road

Latics made it five league wins on the bounce and extended their lead at the top of the Championship to six points with a 2-0 win over Leeds United at Elland Road in 2004.

Goals from Jimmy Bullard and Alan Mahon sent a bumper away following into raptures on a fine afternoon for Paul Jewell’s side.

After a quiet first half, Mahon opened the scoring after just 39 seconds of the second-half as he latched onto Jason Roberts’ pass to rifle into the top left-hand corner of Neil Sullivan’s goal.

It took just six minutes for the advantage to be doubled as Bullard met another Roberts pass and slotted past Sullivan to spark great scenes in front of the away fans in Yorkshire.

LEEDS UNITED IN 2014/15 SO FAR

After a brief spell in charge as caretaker between the end of August and September, Neil Redfearn is hoping to steer the Leeds ship clear of the bottom of the Sky Bet Championship.

A solid base at Elland Road, Leeds’s main struggles have come on the road this season with just one away win in comparison to their five on their own patch.

The summer saw heavy investment in the first team squad under new owner Massimo Cellino with the likes of Souleymane Doukara, Giuseppe Bellusci and Tommaso Bianchi all moving from Serie A to the Sky Bet Championship.

Leeds did lose Ross McCormack to Fulham for a reported fee of £11million with Matt Smith, Luke Varney, Paul Green and Michael Brown all influential figures who also left the club.

Then Head Coach David Hockaday started the campaign with a 1-0 home win over Middlesbrough and Capital One Cup success over Accrington Stanley but, after defeat to rivals Bradford in the second round of the cup, the former Forest Green Rovers boss was dismissed.

Redfearn was asked to take temporary charge following Hockaday’s departure and he led the Whites to three wins out of his four games in charge before Darko Milanic was appointed in late September.

The Slovenian failed to make an immediate impact and, after recording no victories in his first six games, he was sacked at the end of October.

Redfearn has managed to win two of the eight games he has taken charge of on a permanent basis with Leeds sitting five points above the drop zone.

MAN TO WATCH – MIRCO ANTENUCCI


30-year-old Italian striker Mirco Antenucci is the focal point of attack for Leeds and he has eight goals in 19 games so far this campaign.

A former Catania and Torino striker, Antenucci first began to show his prolific qualities last season as he notched 19 goals in 40 games for Ternana.

After joining the Elland Road club in the summer, the Italian has helped Leeds secure wins over Bournemouth, Huddersfield Town and Blackpool with his best performance coming as he notched twice to help the Whites defeat Derby County 2-0 at Elland Road.

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