There’s a return to Elland Road for Leeds United this week as they host Southampton in the Premier League on Tuesday evening.
Leeds are licking their wounds following back-to-back defeats on the road but can dust themselves down quickly with a midweek win over the Saints.
It’s the first time Marcelo Bielsa will have faced Ralph Hasenhuttl this season given it’s a rearranged fixture, so it will be interesting to see how the styles match up.
As always, our team – Kris (FA5), Toby (Neutral) & Alfie (N12) – provide their predictions…
It’s going to be an interesting clash of styles at Elland Road, in my opinion.
We know about how eager we are to turn over possession against whoever we play, but the Saints have adopted a similar approach under Ralph Hasenhuttl.
They’ve been incredibly leaky since their dip in form and it’s something that we ought to take confidence in, despite our own shortcomings, and I’m expecting Patrick Bamford to take full advantage of that.
How we shape up on the basis of Southampton lining up with two strikers will be another one to watch given how little depth we have at the back.
If we’re to beat the Saints on Tuesday, we need a top performance from the midfield to, not only keep James Ward-Prowse quiet, but also finally get some output from Mateusz Klich and co when Rodrigo is out.
I’m thinking this will be an entertaining encounter, and a 3-1 win is my prediction.
Games with teams in a similar sort of position in the table to Leeds have been tough to call recently, and that feels to be the case here as well.
Southampton stopped their losing run in the league with that draw with Chelsea at the weekend, and given the nature of their opponents for that match, you feel they will now have a fair bit of confidence coming into this one.
The addition of Takumi Minamino in January does seem to have given them a lift in terms of their attacking outlets, while it is no secret that Danny Ings is always a threat.
With that in mind, the potential return of Diego Llorente in defence could be a welcome boost for Leeds, while they did seem to cope better in the absence of Kalvin Phillips against Wolves, so the fact they appear to have found a way to cope without the midfielder’s absence to some extent, ought to help them here.
You never quite know what you are to get from Southampton’s defence either, so there could well be opportunities in attack for Leeds, and I think they might just have enough based on the recent performances on these two to get all three points here, so I’ll say 2-1 Leeds.
Like the Wolves clash at the weekend, this could swing either way.
Leeds and Southampton look like they are heading for mid-table, but these are games that they need to target three points in to make sure there’s no threat of relegation.
So, I think we are going to see two teams going for it.
Southampton have a couple of injury problems and have gone a long time without winning a game in the Premier League, but they deserve our respect and will throw up a stern test.
As I always am, I’m concerned we are going without Kalvin Phillips again. It’s fairly obvious we aren’t the same side when he’s not available and that’s the case tomorrow.
I can take confidence in the fact that we played well at Wolves, but I’m still not 100% sold we can really justify being favourites with our injury issues.
Leeds don’t really do draws, but for some reason I keep predicting them and that’s the same this week. 1-1.