Leeds Utd v Watford Match Thread - Llorente returns for Cresswell
30 Sep 2021 08:38 am, by Ellandback1
Leeds Utd v Watford
Saturday 2nd October 15:00 | Elland Road
Leeds have the opportunity to escape the confounds of the drop zone, but only if they can secure three valuable points against Watford on Saturday. The Whites find themselves in the dire position of 18th after their winless start to their 2021-22 campaign stretched to six games. Should they not pick up maximum points this weekend, it be the first time in their history they have gone seven games without victory.
Marcelo Bielsa has a selection dilemma in defence, in a good way for a change. Pascal Struijk is available again following his three-game ban after receiving a red card in the Liverpool match. Diego Llorente has also recovered from his injury and is also at the managers disposal. With Charlie Cresswell having played so well in the last two games it was a tough choice for Bielsa, but we Llorente will partner Cooper at the back. Luke Ayling, who requires minor knee surgery, and Robin Koch remain sidelined.
Patrick Bamford is set to miss out again with the ankle injury which has kept him out of the England squad. Raphinha is fit enough to be selected and Jack Harrison is a week further on in his recovery from Covid. Raphinha has been carrying an injury for the last couple of games, but as our most creative player, has had to play through the pain barrier. Bamford’s injury leaves Rodrigo as our only striking option, but the Spanish International has always maintained that he is not an out-and-out goal scorer. Former Leeds legend Michael Bridges agrees…
Rodrigo is not massively prolific but he suits the ‘Bielsa-ball’ style. Leeds have signed him for his work-rate off the ball, his runs and his movement. They don’t just look at the goal scoring. That’s why when I see Rodrigo play for Spain, there is a lot of rotation, there is a lot of movements he makes, which I like to call unselfish runs to open up space for other players. Rodrigo understands this. He knows how to win the ball back and he knows how to do the pressing. It’s a sensational signing for the Bielsa style and the goals will just be bonuses.
The Hornets have picked up seven points from six games so far, including victory on their last away trip with a 3-1 triumph at Norwich City leaving them 12th in the table. Watford midfielder Peter Etebo faces a five-month absence because of a torn thigh muscle. Tom Cleverley has recovered from a suspected concussion last weekend and Daniel Bachmann is fit following a knee injury. Leeds have won just one of the past 10 meetings in all competitions. Watford are on a three-match winning streak against Leeds in the league.
The Hornets are unbeaten in their past five league games at Elland Road, scoring 16 goals in total.
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