Chelsea v Leeds Utd Match Thread - Bielsa Names Unchanged Starting XI
03 Dec 2020 10:50 am, by Ellandback1
Saturday 5th December 20:00 | Stamford Bridge | Live on Sky Sports
Saturday 15th May 2004 was the last time a live crown watched Leeds United play live in the Premier League. This weekend completes the circle as it will be the first time a paying crowd has watched Leeds in the top-flight since then. Leeds will face an in-form Chelsea side as the they look to break their win-less hoodoo in England's Capital, that will have effected them four days shy of their three year anniversary. The last time that Leeds won a game in London was courtesy of a Kemar Roofe hat-trick at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, better known as Loftus Road. When you consider how many London clubs Leeds have faced over this time, the statistic is horrifying.
Marcelo Bielsa has no new injury worries, but must decide whether to keep record signing Rodrigo benched, if not who would he drop? Sources at the club indicate that Diego Llorente is fit. There are calls for Llorente to come into the team, being the most expensive defender at the club, but Marcelo Bielsa does like his players to have had plenty of minutes for the U23s before slotting into the first eleven. Rumours are circulating on social media regarding Robin Koch being injured but are yet to be confirmed by and reliable source. If so, this could accelerate Llorente’s introduction to the first team.
Lampard says he has a fully-fit squad to choose from for Saturday's match and must decide whether Olivier Giroud has earned a rare league start? The Frenchman netted all four goals during Chelsea’s midweek victory against Savilla. The Blues currently sit third in the Premiership, just two points from the top. The only team they have lost to this season are Liverpool back in September. Chelse have undoubted pace and talent going forward and they will be a test for Leeds United’s defence but they could be vulnerable at the back, are Thiago Silva’s old legs up to the constant running of Leeds? A win for the Blues could send them top. A win for Leeds should elevate them to into the top ten.
Chelsea were the victors during the last top-flight meeting between the two clubs back in 2004, their final match under Claudio Ranieri. Leeds have only won two of their 12 Premier League games at Stamford Bridge, with the most recent victory coming on 19 December 1999 when Stephen McPhail scored both goals. The only meeting since 2004 was in the League Cup back in 2012. Luciano Becchio gave Leeds a half-time lead and hope of a famous win, but it wasn't to be. Juan Mata fired an equaliser just after the break and Branislav Ivanovic headed the Blues into the lead. Victor Moses, Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres would finish off a 5-1 victory for Chelsea.
Leeds Starting XI
Meslier, Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas, Phillips, Klich, Raphinha, Alioski, Harrison, Bamford
Subs: Casilla, Llorente, Struijk, Rodrigo, Costa, Roberts, Poveda