WILL DYER (@w2Dyer) previews a rematch of the 1970 tie between two Uniteds. Sutton have the 3G pitch to their advantage but they face a resurgent Leeds 84 places above them and threatening a return to the top-flight.
Sutton v Leeds | Sunday 14:00 | BT Sport 1
Sutton United have a fantastic reward for their dramatic 3-1 replay win at nearby AFC Wimbledon, a home tie against Leeds in the fourth round.
The U’s were beaten 6-0 by Leeds at the same stage of this famous old competition in 1970. Back then, the Whites were champions of England and bound for the semi-final of the European Cup.
Don Revie had a starting XI packed full of national team capped players. Times have certainly changed at Elland Road since then but it’s still a huge game for the National League club.
Strangely, Sutton’s only defeat at Gander Green Lane this season was also a 6-0 defeat, at the hands of Dover Athletic. However, that came when the hosts were down to 10 men after 20 minutes. That’s the only game that Sutton have lost in their last 15 at home.
Sutton’s victory in the replay at Kingsmeadow was well fought but in reality they played against 10 men for 80 minutes of the match and should probably have sealed it way before the 90th and 96th minute goals from Maxim Biamou and Dan Flitchett.
Long Lost Leeds
At present, Leeds look to have the best shot of returning to the Premier League since their emotional relegation in 2004. As a result, there are 83 places between these two clubs.
Sutton have the advantage of their knowledge of how to play on their 3G pitch, it’s been crucial in their league season but against Garry Monk’s men I’m not sure it’ll be enough of a help. The visitors have hit form, winning seven of their last nine in all competitions.
Chris Wood has scored 20 goals in 31 games this season. His prolificacy at this level is so much so that he’s even attracting attention from China, with Tianjin Quanjian rumoured to be interested in the New Zealand target man after failing with an ambitious pursuit of Diego Costa.
Wood’s supporting cast is also bang in form. Souleymane Doukara’s wonder-strike against Forest in midweek may well see a turn in his fortunes and the fans’ frustration with him. Kemar Roofe was a great purchase from Oxford, whilst Hadi Sacko and Pablo Hernandez have also been exceptional value in midfield.
Monk made a few changes for Leeds visit to League Two Cambridge under the spotlights three weeks ago and may well do the same here but I think any XI that he fields will have a good chance of beating Sutton.
A victory for the hosts would emulate their famous victory over then high-flying Coventry City in the FA Cup third round of 1989. I can’t see it though and will therefore happily back Leeds.
The 13/20 about an away win is a little too short now for a single but I’d by all means add that to a multiple. Instead I’ll be backing the visitors -1.0 on the Asian Handicap line at 5/4 with 188Bet.
If Leeds win by one goal we get our money back, if they win by two or more it’s a full payout. Five of the Whites last eight wins in all competitions have come by two or more goals and all five of those were against second tier opposition so they should be more than capable of blowing Sutton away.
Sutton v Leeds – Leeds -1.0 Asian Handicap (5/4 188Bet)