Leeds United v Arsenal – Match Preview

Leeds United v Arsenal – Match Preview

Leeds United host Arsenal on Sunday, with both sides looking to bounce back after disappointing defeats prior to the international break.

Here’s all you need to know about that meeting at Elland Road on Sunday:

Form

Leeds: DLWLL

Leeds’ high-octane style remains admirable, yet recent weeks have illustrated their struggles defensively, particularly with a number of key men out injured.

Their last two Premier League meetings have ended in 4-1 defeats, with the most recent loss seeing them opened up by a ruthless Crystal Palace side at Selhurst Park.

That defeat did see Marcelo Bielsa’s side have a controversial Patrick Bamford effort ruled out for offside, yet the manner of the defeat will no doubt have left the Argentine scratching his head ahead of the encounter with Arsenal.

One factor that has crippled them thus far has been injury, with the absence of Kalvin Phillips in central midfield a key factor in their struggles. Fortunately for Bielsa and co, the England international could be in contention to feature against the Gunners, despite having looked to be spending a longer period on the sidelines.

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There have been further injury woes with summer signing Diego Llorente still yet to feature, although fellow Spaniard Rodrigo should be able to return, having been in self-isolation due to coming in close proximity with someone who tested positive for coronavirus.

See also – Ranking the six PL defenders to create the most chances this season

Arsenal: LWWWL

The Gunners were riding high following their 1-0 win at Old Trafford on 1 November, though they were brought back down to earth with a bang after a dreadful defeat to Aston Villa at the Emirates.

That 3-0 loss to Dean Smith’s side has raised further questions regarding Arsenal’s formation, with the current 3-4-3 system seemingly failing to get the best out of star man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with the Gabon international having scored just twice in the league this season.

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At the other end of the pitch, the Gunners defence was simply torn apart by the Villa attack, as the likes of Jack Grealish, Ross Barkley and Ollie Watkins ran riot in North London, the latter netting a brace to continue his fine start to life in the top tier.

Against an attack-minded Leeds, however, Mikel Arteta’s side will need to sharpen up at the back, although if their opponents’ recent defensive displays are anything to go by, there should space available for the likes of Aubameyang and co. to exploit.

The Spaniard will, however, be without Mohamed Elneny and Sead Kolasinac after they tested positive for Covid-19 while on international duty with Egypt and Bosnia, respectively. Midfielder Thomas Partey – who came off in their last outing – is also doubt for the weekend.

See also – Unproductive: Ranking the five most wasteful sides in front of goal so far this season

Last Meeting

FA Cup, Arsenal 1-0 Leeds, 6 January 2020

The meeting back in January was first between the two side’s first since a 1-0 win for the Gunners in the same competition back in 2012, and it was the same scoreline eight years on as the top tier side just about edged past their Championship opponents.

In truth, it was difficult to tell which was the Premier League side as Leeds dominated the first-half with some delightful play, despite Marcelo Bielsa having rested a number of his regulars.

That domination did not lead to a goal, however, and the visitors were left rueing their failure to score after Reiss Nelson slotted home ten minutes after half-time.

From then on the game was in Arsenal’s control and Arteta’s men would go on to not only win the match but also the entire competition, while the end of the season saw Leeds finally achieve a deserved promotion back to the top-flight.

Predicted Lineups

Leeds: Meslier; Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas; Phillips, Klich, Rodrigo; Harrison, Costa, Bamford.

Arsenal: Leno; Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Saka; Aubameyang, Nketiah, Pepe.

Who is the referee?

Anthony Taylor

How can I watch?

UK and Irish readers can watch the match on Sky Sports Main Event.

What time is kick off?

Sunday November 22nd, 16:30 GMT

Odds

Leeds – 9/4

Arsenal – 23/20

Draw – 13/5

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