Now they sit top of League One having dropped only two points this season and Benitez is eagerly awaiting a tough battle.
“I believe the game will be a sell-out, and it is a surprise to me that Leeds find themselves in League One these days,” said Benitez.
“Leeds will be difficult, we know they are a big club and we respect their history.
“I have been watching DVDs of their games and it is clear that their supporters are very important to them. They back their team all the time and make it tough for their opponents.
“Those fans are amazing, such loyalty and support, and that has been very apparent to me in watching tapes from last season.
“We know it will be tough. It is a massive club despite the division they are in.
“I have no doubts that this will be a very difficult match. They have quality and they are a big club with great traditions.
“They will want to win this one because of the situation they find themselves in.”