Leeds Utd v Middlesborough Match Thread - Costa replaces Roberts, Nketiah on the bench
27 Nov 2019 07:26 pm, by Ellandback1
Leeds Utd v Middlesbrough
Saturday 30th November 2019 15L00 | Elland Road
Relegation threatened Middlesbrough are the visitors to Elland Road on Saturday as Leeds aim to finish November with a maximum haul of 15 points. Middlesbrough did manage to sneak out of the relegation zone this week with their first victory since mid-September as they beat fellow Yorkshire strugglers, bottom placed Barnsley. At the other end of the table Leeds’ 1-0 victory at Reading extended their unbeaten run to seven games and puts them 18 places and 20 points ahead of Jonathan Woodgate’s side.
Tyler Roberts is unavailable for the Smoggies visit, the Welsh International picked up a suspected hamstring injury picked up against Reading. Helder Costa replaced Roberts on the 35 minute mark and made an immediate impact adding some natural width to the side, and along with fellow substitute Alioski helped set up the winner. Costa is likely to get the nod again with Pablo Hernandez moving into a more central role. Eddie Nketiah trained well this week and featured for the under-23s in their 2-1 victory against Sheffield United on Friday lunchtime but it will be another week before he is available for the first team.
The match will see former Leeds defender Jonathan Woodgate return to Elland Road as a manager for the first time but he will be without Anfernee Dijksteel with a knee injury, while Britt Assombalonga and Paddy McNair are doubts. George Saville returns from suspension, but Marvin Johnson is still banned. Whilst Leeds may lament Leeds’ lack of clinicalness up front Middlesbrough have the lowest shot conversion rate in the Championship this season, netting just 16 of their 221 attempts on goal.
Leeds have won 37 points from their 18 Championship games this season, their highest points tally at this stage of a campaign in the top two tiers of English Football since 1999-2000. The Whites are unbeaten in their past six league meetings with Middlesbrough at Elland Road, since a 1-0 loss back in August 2011. Last season saw honours shared with a 0-0 victory at Elland Road and a 1-1 draw at the Riverside with Kalvin Phillips grabbing a dramatic equaliser 11 minutes into injury time.
With West Brom not playing fellow promotion hopefuls until Monday it is a chance for Leeds to regain top spot again.
Leeds Starting XI:
Casilla, Ayling, White, Cooper, Dallas, Phillips, Hernandez, Klich, Harrison; Costa, Bamford
Subs: Miazek, Douglas, Alioski, Berardi, Stevens, Clarke, Nketiah