Fulham v Leeds Utd Match Thread - 0-0 FT. Leeds win 6-5 on penalties.
20 Sep 2021 09:45 am, by Ellandback1
Tuesday 21st September 19:45pm
Craven Cottage | EFL Cup 3rd Round
Leeds make the 400 mile round trip to South West London on Tuesday evening, hoping to reach the dizzy heights of the fourth round of the League Cup; but only if they can overcome Fulham at Craven Cottage. Leeds ventures to the Capital rarely end well, but they'll be hoping they can put a performance together to appease the fans who have been getting restless following their league status. Koch and Llorente are still nursing injuries whilst Struijk serves the second of his three match ban. Ayling and Raphinha both hobbled off during the latter parts of Friday night's 1-1 draw at St James Park; we're waiting to find out the extent of their injuries! Patrick Bamford also picked up a knock last week and will not travel with the squad.
Bielsa has the pick of the U23's, who are in a rich vain of form having just beaten Liverpool away 4-0. Gelhart scored a brace; chipping the keeper from the half way line, and a thunderbolt from 40 yards. The 19 year old joked later that he had hurt his back in the celebrations!
Looking to secure an immediate return to the Premier League, Fulham have made an encouraging start to their Championship campaign, collecting 16 points from eight matches. But they lost ground to early pacemakers Bournemouth on Saturday, losing 2-1 to Reading at home. They still remain in the automatic promotion slots, thanks to their superior goal difference. They have netted 18 times this season, more than any other Championship team; with Aleksandar Mitrovic grabbing six of the goals and three assists. Fulham have never won the League Cup and in truth, it is not a priority competition for the club this term, with the Cottagers determined to secure an automatic return to the top flight of English football.
The London club have also lost each of their last three matches against Leeds in all competitions, including defeats in their two Premier League meetings during the 2020-21 campaign. Leeds, meanwhile, booked their spot in this stage of the EFL Cup courtesy of a 3-0 home success over Crewe Alexandra, with Kalvin Phillips and Jack Harrison on the scoresheet at Elland Road. The Whites are still waiting for their first win of the 2021-22 Premier League season, though, having lost two and drawn three of their opening five matches, including the 1-1 draw against Newcastle United on Friday. Like Fulham, Leeds will not view the EFL Cup as a priority, but they have previous experience when it comes to this competition, winning the 1967-68 trophy and also finishing as runners-up in 1995-96.
Leeds Starting XI
Meslier, Shackleton, Firpo, Dallas, Cresswell, Phillips, Klich, Summerville, James, Rodrigo, Roberts
Subs: Klaesson, Drameh, Hjelde, Forshaw, McKinstry, Gelhardt, Greenwood