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

View all Showing latest 5 comments of 488...

iscius wrote on 24 Mar 2021 12:03 am

Leeds has downshifted in the last 5 or 6 matches. I wonder if this is an adjustment by Bielsa: control the ball more, work the lateral passes, find openings. They still attack verticay but not with every attack like earlier in the year. Or if the players simply can't keep the pace. Bielsa has also definitely gone more defensive in his philosophy. Personally this is disappointing for the entertainment but it is not only the right move it shows he is willing to adapt. Man I love this team. Need a better 8 but otherwise happy.

Smudge3920 wrote on 23 Mar 2021 03:22 pm

Leaking defense aside...we are still taking the points where we should be...

Smudge3920 wrote on 23 Mar 2021 02:55 pm

Such a skillfull link up these two are really developing an understanding ...

CHAPELALLMAN wrote on 21 Mar 2021 05:15 pm

Boo Radley wrote: Sun Mar 21, 2021 4:07 pm Do you for one second think that Bielsa takes your approach, back slapping, knees up ticking off all the historic wrongs we’ve righted after a game like the Fulham game?

Thankfully, he will push for better as he knows having a team in this league means you are either improving or you are failing.

If you, and the others that believe the defence is fine, don’t want to be upset by the facts, then don’t engage in this particular debate. It isn’t edifying to be throwing insults like “moan, moan, moan” at opinions people hold around wanting their team to improve further.

When you have momentum, and a manager like Bielsa, you need to make the most of that narrow window to be the best you can be. That’s all we want.
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Boo Radley wrote on 21 Mar 2021 04:34 pm

Cjay wrote: Sun Mar 21, 2021 12:15 pm Around 45% of all goals conceded since Bielsa arrived have been from set pieces.

About 20% of those have been from corners.

Its an unusually high number, no escaping that imo.
Maybe you missed Cjay’s post Rab, but those stats put us well outside the “normal” range of concessions off set pieces, and especially corners.

What doesn’t show in the stats is how Fulham could have been 3-1 up at halftime due to the mayhem that broke out from deliveries into our box from corners. Only for the excellence of Meslier we would have squandered our deserved lead.

It isn’t just headed goals that count from corners. Our inability to clear our lines sets up the volley or toe poke on goal as the ball bobbles around our box. It’s just unnecessary and amateurish.