Leeds Utd v Chelsea Match Thread - Cooper, Costa & Klich Out, Struijk, Alioski & Harrison In
10 Mar 2021 09:52 pm, by Ellandback1
Saturday 13th March 12:30pm | Elland Road
Chelsea are the visitors to Elland Road on Saturday lunch time. They will be hoping they can keep their eleven game unbeaten run under Thomas Tuchel in tact, including impressive recent wins against Everton and Liverpool. These victories leave the Blues just four points away from Manchester Utd in second place. Leeds have lost their way in recent weeks. They have lost fuve out of their last seven games. Even though they sit comfortably in 11th place they'll be conscious that they are yet to play the bottom seven clubs apart from Newcastle. The other three fixtures are home games against Liverpool and Spurs as well as an away trip to the Etihad Stadium. Suddenly 9 points clear doesn't sound quite that secure anymore.
Leeds will be boosted by the news that both Rodrigo and Kalvin Phillips returned from the London Stadium unscathed. Phillips will start in midfield alongside Stuart Dallas and Tyler Roberts whilst Rodrigo makes the bench along with the out of form Mateusz Klich. Alioski will fill in at left back, whilst Jack Harrison returns to the left wing in place of Helder Costa. Liam Cooper missed out through injury and will be replaced in central defence by Pascal Struijk. Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has shaken off an ankle injury that has kept him sidelined for three games.
In the reverse fixture Chelsea were 3-1 winners despite an early goal from Patrick Bamford. It was the perhaps the most comprehensive performance from an opposition team this season, Chelsea pressing Leeds high from the off and out running Leeds. Chelsea of course have a new manager now and are going great guns, unbeaten in 11 games since Thomas Tuchel took charge. The Blues can win both league meetings in a season for the first time since 1989. Leeds' solitary victory in the past nine encounters was 2-0 in the Premier League in 2002.
Leeds are winless in all six Premier League home matches against teams in the top half of the table and could lose three successive league fixtures for the first time since November 2017. The Whites have failed to score in the first half of any of their past five league fixtures. Raphinha has recorded two goals and no assists in 10 Premier League home appearances, in contrast to three goals and five assists away. Chelsea are unbeaten in their 11 matches in all competitions under Thomas Tucheland have earned 21 points since Tuchel's appointment, second only to Manchester City's 30 during that period. They have won five of their six competitive away fixtures under the German, all by a single-goal margin.
Leeds Starting XI
Meslier, Ayling, Struijk, Llorente, Alioski, Phillips, Dallas, Harrison, Roberts, Raphinha, Bamford
Subs: Casilla, Koch, Berardi, Shackleton, Klich, Costa, Jenkins, Poveda, Rodrigo