West Ham Utd v Leeds Utd Match Thread - Phillips in for Struijk, Berardi & Rodrigo make the bench
05 Mar 2021 10:11 am, by Ellandback1
Monday 8th March 2021 20:00 | London Stadium
Leeds travel down the A1M to the London Stadium on Monday evening to play high flying West Ham Utd. They hope to put their London voodoo to rest as they have not won a fixture in England's capital since December 2017 (away at QPR). With players on the comeback trial, they have an increased chance of leaving East London with at least a share of the spoils. Bielsa revealed in his pre match presser that a number of first team players may be in a position to resume first team duties, depending on how they fared in the U23s game against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Aggborough on Friday. Rodrigo, Gaetano Berardi and Ian Poveda all played on Friday and make the bench tonight. Pascal Struijk fails a fitness test having been forced off in the home defeat by Aston Villa and will be replaced by Kalvin Phillips. Helder Costa will keep his place on the wing ahead of Jack Harrison.
The Hammers currently occupy six place in the top flight, 10 points ahead of Leeds in 11th on 35 point. David Moyes team are only six points off 2nd place. The East End club are suffering a goal keeping crisis. Lukasz Fabianski and Darren Randolph are suffering with elbow and thigh injuries respectively. Third-choice David Martin may deputise. The 35 year old, son of West Ham legend Alvin Martin had a brief loan at Elland Road in 2009, but did not play. He is no relation to Alan Martin, who played between the sticks for Leeds between 2007-11. He now plays for Bruno's Magpies in the Gibraltar National League! Ryan Fredericks will face a late fitness test.
When the two teams met at Elland Road the Londoners came away 2-1 winners despite Mateusz Klich opening the scoring from the spot (at the second time of asking) for Leeds. West Ham exploited Leeds United's set piece vulnerability with their headed from Soucek and Ogbonna goals coming from a corner and a free kick. In an entertaining game where both sides created numerous chances, Meslier superbly kept out a second-half header from Fabian Balbuena and saved Sebastien Haller's overhead kick. After Ogbonna rose at the far post to power home Aaron Creswell's inviting free-kick for what proved the winner, Leeds wasted their best chance to level when Rodrigo headed straight at Lukasz Fabianski from six yards.
West Ham are winless in their past seven home games against Leeds (D4, L3). The Hammers are looking to complete their first league double over Leeds since 1953-54, and their first top-flight league double since 1929-30. West Ham have won four of their past five home league matches. Only Manchester City have earned more more Premier League points than West Ham's 22 in 2021. Leeds have lost three of their past four league games and could lose a third consecutive away match in the top flight. Leeds have lost 12 of their last 13 fixtures in London in all competitions, losing all four in the capital in the Premier League this season.
Leeds Starting XI
Meslier, Ayling, Llorente, Cooper, Dallas, Phillips, Klich, Roberts, Costa, Raphinha, Bamford
Subs: Caprile, Alioski, Davis, Berardi, Jenkins, Huggins, Harrison, Poveda, Rodrigo