Leeds enter the weekend knowing that anything but a win could further pile pressure on Jesse Marsch, with the gap to the bottom three virtually non-existent at this point.
We’re approaching the halfway point of Leeds’ season and it’s clear that without improvement from Marsch’s side, it’s going to be another tense back end of the season where relegation shouldn’t be out of the question.
Brentford are Leeds’ next opponents, as they travel to Elland Road sitting pretty in eighth, having won four out of their last five games.
Here, we look at two key battles that we think are going to end up deciding this match against the Bees…
Ivan Toney v Liam Cooper
Toney was in ruthless spirits last time Leeds faced Brentford, as he fired in a stylish hattrick through a penalty, free-kick, and 25-yard lob in that 5-2 win for the Bees.
He is still awaiting confirmation of what is likely to be a hefty ban after being charged for breaching FA gambling rules, but he’s remained in sensational form despite off-field controversy.
Leeds are going to need to keep him completely quiet if they hope to win the game and stop the visiting side from scoring.
Toney has five goals and an assist in his last four games for the club, and Liam Cooper will have to be wary of the 26-year-old’s influence on the game.
Keep him shackled, and Leeds have a great chance of winning the game.
Leeds v Brentford predictions?
Rasmus Kristensen v Yoane Wissa
Having struggled thus far in the Premier League to showcase his quality at both ends of the pitch, Rasmus Kristensen looked far closer to his best against Cardiff City in midweek.
Granted, this performance was a side struggling at the lower end of the Championship, and Brentford pose a significant threat to him, but there’s cause for optimism.
His confidence to get forward often and provide a real threat down the right flank will have been encouraging for Marsch ahead of this game, and you’d expect he did enough to keep his place this afternoon.
He’ll likely be up against Yoane Wissa at the other end, and he’s going to have to have a very solid game defensively in order to deliver the goods for Leeds.
Being a swashbuckling full-back is all well and good against a Cardiff side that looked useless throughout, but against one of the form sides in the Premier League, it’s a different proposition.