Leeds Utd v Southampton Match Thread - Llorente replaces injured Shackleton
21 Feb 2021 03:57 pm, by Ellandback1
Tuesday 23rd February 2021 18:00 | Elland Road
After suffering back to back defeats at the hands of Arsenal and Wolves, Leeds will be hoping to get back to winning ways at the expense of a Southampton side in free fall. Before their 1-1 draw against Chelsea at St Mary's, the Saints have lost six games in a row including a 9-0 drubbing at the hands of Manchester Utd. Leeds currently lie in 12th place on 32 points, one place and two points above their South Coast opponents.
Leeds Manager Marcelo Bielsa had some big decisions to make. With Kalvin Phillips probably still sidelined, Diego Llorente comes into the side in place of Jamie Shackleton who misses out with a minor injury.. Tyler Roberts looked lively without any real end product against Wolves but will keep his place in the attacking midfield role ahead of veteran Pablo Hernandez. Record signing Rodrigo returned to training last Monday, but was not fit to participate on Friday night and is said not to be fit enough for tonights game. Bielsa gave this update regarding Phillips and Rodrigo prior to the Wolves game...
I could not give you a certain, answer. If I tell you that no they won’t play, one of them could perhaps make it for one of those games. And if I tell you yes, they will return, I can’t tell you this with certainty. Sometimes a response that seems like it's a formality is the only way I can answer because it’s actually subject to how they evolve.
Diego Llorente was fit enough to take the bench against Wolves and may still be a risk starting tonight, but Bielsa has no choice. Robin Koch is currently being assessed on a 'week-to-week' basis, but is not expected to play any part in proceedings for another month. Berardi is earmarked to start for the U23's against Crystal Palace on March 1st. Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl says midfielder Stuart Armstrong has a "50-50" chance of recovering from a muscle problem in time to play on Tuesday. Kyle Walker-Peters, Theo Walcott and Ibrahima Diallo are still sidelined. Danny Ings is named on the bench.
This is their first meeting in any competition since October 2012, when Leeds won 3-0 at home in a League Cup tie. Southampton are on a run of three straight league victories in this fixture, with the most recent being a 1-0 away win in March 2012. However, Leeds have lost just one of their 12 home games against Southampton in the Premier League, keeping nine clean sheets (W6, D5). Leeds have lost consecutive league matches for the fourth time this season. They haven't lost three in a row since November 2017. Leeds are one victory shy of 200 in the Premier League.
Saints' total of four points in 2021 is the lowest in the Premier League, as is their tally of six goals scored. Southampton ended a club record run of six consecutive league defeats by drawing against Chelsea on Saturday. Their solitary victory in 12 top-flight matches came against Liverpool in January (D4, L7). Saints have won nine of their past 10 league games against promoted sides, with the exception being a goalless draw with Fulham on Boxing Day this season. Ralph Hasenhuttl's side have dropped a league-high 18 points from winning positions this season. They have conceded 21 goals in their eight league fixtures this year, having let in just 19 in their 16 matches in 2020.
Leeds Starting XI
Meslier, Ayling, Struijk, Cooper, Dallas, Llorente, Klich, Harrison, Roberts, Raphinha, Bamford
Subs: Casilla, Alioski, Cresswell, Casey, Costa, Jenkins, Huggins, Hernandez, Gelhardt