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26 Nov 2015 03:59pm, by Shields53

After a slow start to the 2015-16 campaign, Leeds United have shown plenty of promise under new manager Steve Evans. Although Leeds lost to Rotherham United in their most recent encounter, the Whites have looked much better and have lost just two of their six fixtures since Evans arrived at the helm.

Evans' immediate impact has helped the Whites to climb up the Championship table. While they are still 16th in the division, they sit just nine points behind sixth-placed Birmingham City. With plenty of matches remaining, there are numerous opportunities for Leeds to continue climbing up the table and Evans will believe that he can lead the Whites to a play-off spot this season.

Unfortunately for Leeds, they did suffer that 1-0 defeat by Rotherham at Elland Road. If they are to endure a successful season, the Whites must improve at home. Leeds have won just once at home this campaign - a 1-0 victory over Cardiff City - and Evans must focus on improving in front of their own fans. Leeds have thousands of ardent supporters who follow the club all over the country and they deserve more than their current run of form. If the Whites can begin to shine in front of their home supporters, they will begin to climb up the division.

Leeds have always been well supported and attendances at Elland Road are high. However, there are plenty of ways for fans to watch Leeds in the flesh. Indeed, fans who have bought tickets via ticketgum.com and other online providers will be hoping that the Whites continue to improve in the coming weeks and they must be regarded as one of the most exciting teams to watch in England's second tier.

If their star men continue to make a major impact throughout the campaign, they are more than capable of putting together a good run of form and could well be featuring in the Premier League next season. There's a long way to go but if anyone can perform a minor miracle, it's Leeds.

Defensively, Leeds can be suspect at times and they must tighten up if they are to challenge for a play-off berth. Ultimately, the Whites will need to secure a number of close victories over the course of the season and clean sheets will prove crucial to their top-six aspirations.

Leeds have kept just three clean sheets all season but they have achieved two of those in recent victories against Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town - both under Evans' management. If Evans continues to focus on improving Leeds' leaky defence, that could well be the catalyst for a successful campaign.

So, can Leeds challenge for the play-offs this season? Of course they can. The Whites have a number of talented stars and, along with Evans' tough management stance, Leeds have the potential to climb the division this season. Their away form is exceptional and, if they can begin to pick up victories at Elland Road, they will be in business. Only time will tell of course but the early signs are promising and Evans may well be the right man to take Leeds back to the big time.

24 Nov 2015 07:05pm, by Shields53

After a slow start to the season, Leeds United are slowly improving and have started to climb up the Championship table. The Whites have lost just two of their last six matches and now sit 16th in the division. Bizarrely, they are just nine points behind Birmingham, who are sixth and occupy that coveted final playoff position.

If Leeds are to be considered a potential play-off punt and to feature in the postseason, they must continue to improve and need to maintain their current run of form – defeat to Rotherham excepted. Here are four crucial upcoming fixtures that could define the remainder of Leeds’ season.

Queens Park Rangers vs LEEDS

After losing 1-0 at home to Rotherham in their most recent fixture, Leeds will be chomping at the bit to get back on the winning trail. Steve Evans was extremely disappointed with their performance against his former side and Leeds fans will be expecting a much improved display against a QPR side that has failed to inspire confidence at Loftus Road this season.

Rangers were one of the leading candidates to earn promotion back to the top flight prior to the beginning of the campaign but have slipped to 15th in the table – just one point above Leeds. With the incentive to climb up to 12th in the division, Leeds will be eager to respond in the best way possible and pick up the victory in west London.

Charlton Athletic vs LEEDS

At the time of writing, Charlton are struggling. They have won just four matches so far this season and are dangerously close to the relegation zone. Although they have won their last two matches, they are there for the taking and Leeds will need to put together a solid unbeaten run on the road if they are to climb up the Championship table.

If the Whites are deadly serious about securing a playoff spot, these are the matches that they will need to win. Charlton have struggled for goals this campaign and Leeds may be able to exploit their leaky defence with an organised performance. Evans’ men have a good away record this season and that should continue against Charlton.

LEEDS vs Preston

Yet another must-win. Preston have performed admirably so far but as the festive season approaches, they may struggle to cope with the added demands of the Championship campaign. In terms of league position, both sides are lingering in the lower half of the division but Leeds definitely have more potential to climb up the table.

Leeds will be eager to produce an impressive performance in front of their home fans, especially as this is their final home game before Christmas. If Evans’ side perform at their very best, they are more than capable of winning this match but must be wary of Preston’s talented attacking unit.

Nottingham Forest vs LEEDS

Providing there are no Christmas/Boxing Day hangovers, Leeds will feel quietly confident about this clash. Forest are perhaps the Championship’s most inconsistent side and while that means it is difficult to predict how they will perform, Leeds will believe that they are there for the taking if they perform well and remain solid defensively.

Over the years, Forest have been widely regarded as one of the Championship’s best attacking teams. However, they have lost a number of their key players over the last couple of seasons to injury and departure and are no longer a dominant force in the division. If Evans sets his team up in the right way, they will be difficult to beat and could nick yet another away victory.

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