Fulham v Leeds Utd Match Thread - Bamford makes it as Bielsa names unchanged side
17 Mar 2021 09:33 am, by Ellandback1
Friday 19th March 20:00 | Craven Cottage
Leeds travel down to Craven Cottage on Friday evening without the services of skipper Liam Cooper. Cooper has been ruled out of action for the rest of the month with 'illness'. Leading scorer Patrick Bamford sustained a hip injuryagainst Chelsea last week though is expected to be fit. Rodrigo picked up a muscle injury this week, it is not known if he's going to be available for the game on Friday. Could this mean a change of game time for Joe Gelhardt? The 18 yea old has been in sensational form for Mark Jackson's team, and deserves recognition.
It is thought that Bielsa will keep the same defensive partnership of Llorente and Struijk that kept a clean sheet against the Blues on Saturday lunchtime. Robin Koch completed 45 minutes of game time for the U23's on Monday, showing no signs of being sidelined for almost four months. He'll be pushing for a return to first team action, though will have to make do with a place on the bench. Luke Ayling and Kalvin Phillips both picked up knocks at the weekend but are expected to play.
Fulham are fighting for their lives towards the foot of the table. Their recent form has seen the Cottagers move within two points of Newcastle and three points off Brighton. The have only lost twice (against City and Spurs) in their last seven games. This includes an impressive win against Liverpool. Scott Parker has no fresh injuries concerns but club captain Tom Cairney remains out with the ongoing knee problem that has sidelined him since mid-December.
The two teams met at Elland Road early in the season, when a 4-1 thrashing because a tense 4-3 victory for Leeds. Fulham have kept clean sheets in all three Premier League home games with Leeds. Fulham have lost just one of their past eight home league matches against Leeds, winning four and drawing three. Leeds have not scored a top-flight goal at Craven Cottage since a 5-0 victory in January 1968. Marcelo Bielsa's side are looking to complete a first league double over Fulham since the 1984-85 season.
Leeds Starting XI
Meslier, Ayling, Struijk, Llorente, Alioski, Phillips, Dallas, Harrison, Roberts, Raphinha, Bamford
Subs: Casilla, Koch, Berardi, Jenkins, Shackleton, Klich, Costa, Poveda, Gelhardt