Southampton v Leeds Utd Match Thread - Casilla, Cooper and Rodrigo all start
17 May 2021 08:21 am, by Ellandback1
Tuesday 18th May 18:00 | St Mary Stadium
Leeds make the 250 mile trip to the South Coast to face Southampton at St Mary's on Tuesday evening to play in front of supporters for the first time since December. The Whites are in the form of their lives. If you excuse them for their last trip down to the South Coast (where they lost against Brighton 2-0), they have not lost since West Ham away in early March. Leeds are currently 10 points ahead of the Saints, and are separated by four places. Recent home wins against Fulham and Crystal Palace have elevated Ralph Hasenhüttl's team to 14th. Leeds will keep the pressure on Arsenal and Everton who are within striking distance with just two games left.
Leeds have no new injury doubts, though Marcelo Bielsa has released Robin Koch and Mateusz Klich early to prepare for the Euros. This means Stuart Dallas to the No 8 role with Rodrigo playing in the attacking midfield role. Tyler Roberts is on the bench alongside Pablo Hernandez who passed a late fitness test. Captain Liam Cooper returns to the heart of defence alongside Diego Llorente with Pascal Struijk dropping to the bench. A surprise change also sees Kiko Casilla starting between the sticks in place of Illan Meslier. Southampton are boosted by the news that Oriol Romeu could return after nearly three months out with an ankle injury. Defender Jan Bednarek is available again after missing the win over Fulham with a heel problem.
The teams last met back in February when the Whites ended up three nil winners. Patrick Bamford scored his 13th goal of the season to help Leeds end a run of back-to-back defeats, striking early in the second half, timing his run to perfection to beat offside and latch on to Tyler Roberts' through-ball before firing a low shot into the far corner. A neat Stuart Dallas finish from the edge of the box and Raphinha's superb free-kick sealed the points. Leeds are looking to complete a league double over Southampton for the first time since the 2005-06 Championship season. They last won both Premier League fixtures in a season against the Saints in 2001-02.
Southampton have won five of their last six home league games against Leeds, including the last three in a row. Leeds have won half of their 18 Premier League away games this season - they last reached double figures in a top-flight campaign back in 1973-74, when they won the title. They could become just the second side to finish a Premier League campaign with no away draws, emulating Tottenham in 2018-19. Leeds have won four of their five midweek league matches this season, including both away fixtures (5-0 v West Brom, 2-1 v Newcastle). The have scored a top-flight high of 13 goals from outside the penalty area this season.