Leeds' next game a shot at redemption for Matthew Pennington

A general view of Elland Road Stadium prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Elland Road on October 17, 2015 in Leeds, England.

Leeds United will be hoping to get their Championship play-off push back on track this weekend.

Everton player Matthew Pennington in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Everton at the Stadium of Light on May 11, 2016 in Sunderland, England.

It has been a much more difficult season than Matthew Pennington probably would have imagined when he stepped off the pitch at half-time of Leeds' season-opener away at Bolton Wanderers.

Pennington hardly put a foot wrong in that game and looked set to be an inspired signing for the Whites before he suffered an injury shortly after the hour-mark that ruled him out for the best part of two months.

General view of Elland Road before the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road on February 25, 2017 in Leeds, England.

It has been a largely disappointing spell ever since for the Everton-owned youngster, with one of his most disappointing performances for Leeds coming in the home game against Sheffield United back in October.

The 23-year-old struggled all evening to cope with the Blades' attacking threat, and it was his poor marking that allowed Billy Sharp to break the deadlock inside two minutes in a game that Leeds would ultimately lose 2-1 with Andy Lonergan to thank for keeping the score respectable.

This weekend, Leeds travel to Bramall Lane looking to get their play-off push back on track by winning for the first time in 2018. And it seems more than likely that Pennington will be in the side if he is fit.

Sam Winall of Derby County battles for the ball with Matthew Pennington of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Derby County at Elland Road on...

Cooper is still suspended, as is utility man Gaetano Berardi, so it seems probable at this stage that Paul Heckingbottom will start with a pairing of Pennington and Jansson - if the latter is fit after being stretchered off against Cardiff last time out.

For Pennington therefore, the game should represent a real chance at redemption. Not only will he want to prove that he is capable of dealing with the threat that Chris Wilder's men pose going forward, but having played the full 90 minutes in the 4-1 defeat last time out, he will also want to prove to the fans and to his new manager that he can be the player that provided plenty of reasons for optimism on the opening day of the campaign. 

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