Leeds bolster defence with Northern Ireland international

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George McCartney has signed for Leeds on a month-long loan deal after being frozen out at Sunderland.

Leeds have made a bright start to life back in the Championship after winning promotion from League One last season, but manager Simon Grayson is concerned after concededing 10 goals in their first seven games.

Grayson has brought in McCartney to strengthen his backline and the Northern Irish international will provide Leeds with the experience they need to move up the table.

The 29-year-old has fallen out of favour with Sunderland manager Steve Bruce and McCartney will hope he can impress Bruce in a month of first team football at Leeds.

Leeds face tricky ties over the next month away to Leicester, Ipswich and Middlesbrough, before a home tie with Cardiff, and McCartney’s influence can help them target nine points from the 18 available.

That would leave Leeds in a strong position going into November and a play-off spot wouldn’t be out of reach.

A shot at the Championship title may be outside the teams capabilities, but they are 18/1 in the Championship 2010/11 betting odds market.

Sheffield United make the trip to Elland Road on Saturday and Leeds are 1/1 to start the tough run with three points.

McCarthey’s departure leaves Sunderland short of defensive cover and with Titus Bramble facing rape charges, Bruce is struggling to find a back four for the game with Liverpool.

Sunderland are as big as 6/1 to go to Anfield and take all three points and considering Liverpool’s mini crisis, that seems a big price.

Sheffield United are 11/4 to beat Leeds. See the full the Championship football betting odds market here.

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