Leeds host Liverpool at Elland Road on Monday night in the Premier League. The hosts begin the weekend just two points above the drop zone whilst the Reds have fallen 12 points off the top four, largely due to their poor away record. Jurgen Klopp will have taken hope from his side’s superb outing last Sunday against log leaders Arsenal.
The Whites had a very poor run around the turn of the year. A streak of nine matches without a win saw Jesse Marsch fired after six of those fixtures before one point from three matches under a caretaker coach. Javi Gracia arrived after that and immediately oversaw a crucial 1-0 home victory over Southampton.
In all, the Spanish coach has 10 points from seven fixtures in charge. There were absolutely huge wins vs direct relegations rivals, Wolves (4-2 away) and Nottingham Forest (2-1 at home) but also two heavy losses. They were beaten 4-1 at Arsenal which was no great shock but last week’s 5-1 home loss to Crystal Palace was a big blow to any confidence they were building up.
Leeds Team News
There are three major injuries to deal with including the long-term knee victim Stuart Dallas. Max Wober had made a big impact in central defence but a thigh injury means he remains a major question mark ahead of this match.
Tyler Adams is a big player in midfield and he continues to miss out in the engine room. Luis Sinisterra and Junior Firpo were both pictured watching tennis in France this week and may not be selected. Wilfried Gnonto and Rodrigo should both be fit enough to start now after injuries whilst veteran captain Liam Cooper could be recalled in a leaky back four.
In an evening match and with a vocal crowd, Leeds will be very motivated for this match. They will play at a high intensity and try to pick up a crucial three points.
They will hope for some teams around them to lose over the weekend. Playing last could increase motivation or pressure to take something from this fixture.
The Reds’ season has been one of the false dawns. A run of five clean sheets on the bounce in the league seemed to signal a return to form and a genuine top-four challenge. Especially when they beat Man Utd 7-0 at home from eight shots on target to close the gap to just three points to the top four with a game in hand.
Their five matches since then have zero victories. They lost 1-0 at bottom-placed Bournemouth and 1-0 away to Real Madrid (for a 6-2 aggregate loss). They were then thoroughly outclassed in a 4-1 defeat at Man City, showing how the gap has grown this term. After escaping with a 0-0 draw at Chelsea, they played very well for an hour vs Arsenal last Sunday. With 21 shots and 3.96 xG, they should have taken all three points from 2-0 down.
Liverpool Team News
Central midfielders Stefan Bajcetic and Naby Keita are set to miss this match with injuries. There could be a long-awaited return for winger Luis Diaz to the substitutes bench after two knee surgeries.
Coach Jurgen Klopp will have been impressed with his side against Arsenal and could name an unchanged XI. If he does make any alterations then it would be in attack where Roberto Firmino scored from the bench against the Gunners and Darwin Nunez had a great impact that Diogo Jota after coming on.
To have any vague chance of a top-four finish, Liverpool needs to win this match. However, should Man Utd, Newcastle, and Tottenham win their fixtures, then the Reds could go into this clash with a very remote chance of qualifying for the Champions League.
They will attack and try to win, but their away form is dire and the side have been consistently inconsistent all season.
Leeds have won 2 of their last 4 home EPL matches
Leeds’ last 3 home EPL matches have produced 13 goals (5 scored, 8 conceded)
Leeds have conceded 15 goals in 5 EPL matches vs Liverpool since promotion
Liverpool have lost 8 of their last 13 away matches
LFC have just 3 wins in 15 away EPL matches this season (8 losses)
Liverpool have failed to score in 5 of their last 7 away EPL matches
This match is very hard to call. Liverpool are awful on the road but they tend to score plenty when they face Leeds. They also looked in top form for an hour vs Arsenal. It’s a tough match to call but goals look guaranteed.
Best Bet: Both Teams to Score + Over 2.5 goals at 1.90
Alternative Bet: Liverpool/draw double chance + Over 2.5 goals at 2.00
Goalscorer Tip : Salah anytime at 2.20 OR Salah 2 or more goals at 7.75