Middlesbrough v Leeds Utd
Wednesday 26th February 2020 19.45 | The Riverside Stadium
Having worked hard to open up a five point gap between themselves and the play off' hopefuls, Leeds will be confident that they'll be able to brush aside a below par Middlesbrough. The Smoggies have played consecutive games against the bottom three, picking up one point from a possible nine; leaving the Teessiders three points from the drop zone. Another loss could spell the end of Jonathan Woodgate's tenure at the Riverside.
Having hobbled off during the White's victory over Reading at the weekend, Kelvin Phillips is unlikely to be risked. Gianni Alioski stands by. With no news from the FA in regards to Casilla's racism charge, we can expect the former Real Madrid shot stopper to keep his place between the sticks if his fingure injury is not too severe. The longer it takes for the FA to come to a decision, the more difficult it will be to punish the Spaniard. Patrick Bamford looks set to face his former club, surely the perfect opportunity to find his striking boots. A month after signing, Jean Kevin Augustin will be wondering when Bielsa will give the French man his starting debut!
Last time out Leeds United demolished the Teesiders in a compehensive 4-0 victory at Elland Road. Patrick Bamford opened the scoring after just three minutes before Matteusz Klich grabbed a brace and Helder Costa chipped in with another to complete the rout. Struggling Middlesbrough remain without injured trio Daniel Ayala, Dael Fry and Patrick Roberts. Ayala and Fry are expected back in two to three weeks but it is not yet known when Roberts will be fit.
Leeds have completed a league double over Middlesbrough in only one of the past 17 seasons the sides have met, doing so in 2014-15. Middlesbrough are unbeaten in their past three home league matches against Leeds United (W2 D1) since a 1-0 defeat in February 2015. Middlesbrough (8.3%) are one of just three teams to have a lower shot conversion rate in the Championship this season than Leeds (8.7%). Indeed, the Whites have had more shots on target than any other side in the division (175), whilst only Luton (100) and Nottingham Forest (112) have managed fewer than Boro (115).
Leeds Starting XI:
Casilla, Ayling, White, Cooper, Dallas, Berardi, Klich, Harrison, Costa, Hernandez, Bamford
Subs: Meslier, Casey, Alioski, Douglas, Shackleton, Stevens, Roberts