Eddie Gray thinks that the game at St James Park is a ‘huge game’ for both teams.
The game sold out weeks ago and with Newcastle going for automatic promotion and Leeds looking to make sure of a play-off spot, there is all to play for.
The Leeds legend thinks that Newcastle fans could be a negative though, believing that like Leeds supporters, when things go against the players the crowd can exasperate the situation – whether it is expectation and/or showing their disappointment with the team.
Eddie Gray believes that the visitors have got a good chance tonight due to the nervousness/edginess of the home support and the fact that there have been five defeats at St James Park already.
Whatever the result though, Gray says that playing in front of a packed St James Park will be ‘great’ for the Leeds players, giving them ‘a little taste of what the Premier League would be like’.
He thinks the style of play in the match could also help Garry Monk’s players, as they like to counter-attack and Newcastle fans will be urging their team to press and go forward.
Whatever the supporters think, Rafa Benitez tends to do things his own way, so hard to see him going too ‘gung-ho’ but certainly Newcastle do look better when they up the tempo and press the opposition, which they haven’t done for some time.
With Isaac Hayden and DeAndre Yedlin potentially returning to the starting 11, their pace and mobility could help Rafa’s team to do that pressing with less risk of getting caught out.
Eddie Gray speaking to LUTV:
“It is a huge game for us (Leeds) and a huge game for them (Newcastle).
“It will be great for our players to play in an atmosphere like that.
“Give them a little taste of what the Premier League would be like.
“I think that the approach from is that we should try to win the game.
“I think we’ve got a good chance, given their home form, the slip-ups and the crowd – a bit like Elland Road they can unforgiving at times.
“They (Newcastle fans) like their teams to go forward, like their teams to press – we are good at hitting other teams on the break, on the counter-attack, and that can suit us.”