Quick links


Murphy and Cook are talented, but it's this Leeds star who will make the difference this weekend

There is a Leeds United player who is going to be crucial for the team against promotion challenging Middlesbrough.

Leeds United have several talented young midfielders who are all in great form at the moment, but it’s a more experienced option he could be the match winner for Neil Redfearn’s team this weekend.

Lewis Cook, Luke Murphy, Sam Byram, Alex Mowatt; they tick all of the boxes in terms of talent, creativity and passion but it’s Rodolph Austin who is going to be key in the game against Middlesbrough.

The 29-year-old will be key because of a Middlesbrough midfielder playing in Aitor Karanka’s side on loan from Chelsea; Patrick Bamford.

Bamford is the mould of midfielder similar to Frank Lampard, as he pops up in advanced positions, making runs from deep and is generally difficult to pick up.

He’s got ten goals in the Championship so far this season so he must be doing something right in terms of how he’s playing.

Redfearn would be well advised in telling Austin to keep a close eye on Bamford throughout the game because he has the potential to unlock the Leeds defence and exploit the smallest of weaknesses.

Austin has that physical presence, which doesn’t come from Leeds’ talented younger players and he can play with a much higher degree of physical aggression.

Murphy and Cook are perfectly capable of putting challenges in, but Austin cuts the figure of someone who can be extremely intimidating for the opposition to play against if he’s used in the right way.

He also has an extra level of experience and he will have played against players similar to Bamford in style throughout this season.

If Austin can keep him quiet, while offering support in other areas of the Leeds midfield when it’s needed, there’s no reason Leeds can’t get a result this weekend.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch