MX23RW : Monday, September 20 13:03:47| >> :120:12605:12605:
Jul 30, 2021 at 7pm UK at Highbury Stadium
FleetwoodFleetwood Town
LeedsLeeds United
Morris (55'), Garner (61')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Cresswell (24')

Preview: Fleetwood Town vs. Leeds United - prediction, team news, head to head

Sports Mole previews Friday's Pre-Season Friendlies clash between Fleetwood Town and Leeds United, including predictions, team news and head-to-head records.

Leeds United will continue their preparations for the 2021-22 Premier League campaign with a pre-season clash against Fleetwood Town on Friday evening.

The Whites are facing four matches in five days and opened their pre-season with a 3-2 win over Guiseley on Tuesday, while Fleetwood recorded a 2-1 victory over Huddersfield Town on the same night.

Match preview

Simon Grayson in charge of Bradford City in March 2018© Reuters

Fleetwood, who finished 15th in League One last season, have had a busy pre-season schedule thus far, playing five times since July 10, recording three victories and two draws in the process.

Simon Grayson's side ran out winners over Radcliffe and Port Vale in their first two friendlies of the summer before drawing back-to-back matches against Rochdale and St Johnstone.

Fleetwood will enter this game off the back of a morale-boosting win, though, having beaten Championship side Huddersfield 2-1 on Tuesday courtesy of goals from Shayden Morris and Gerard Garner.

The Cod Army have another three confirmed friendlies in the diary, facing Leeds, Chester and Wrexham before opening their League One campaign at home to Portsmouth on August 7.

Grayson's team have been busy this summer in terms of signings, with the likes of Max Clark, Tom Clarke, Brad Halliday and Anthony Pilkington all arriving, while Ryan Edmondson and Callum Morton have joined on loan from Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion respectively.

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa on May 8, 2021.© Reuters

Leeds, meanwhile, recorded a 3-2 victory over National League North side Guiseley on Tuesday, although the team mainly included teenagers and Under-23 players, with Mark Jackson overseeing the contest.

First-team manager Marcelo Bielsa was in attendance, though, and the 66-year-old decided to rest a number of key players ahead of Wednesday night's clash with Blackburn Rovers.

As mentioned, the Whites are in the middle of a very busy period, as they will take on Blackburn, Fleetwood and Real Betis over the next four days, before playing their final friendly of the summer against Ajax on August 4.

Leeds will open their 2021-22 Premier League season against Manchester United on August 14, and it will be fascinating to see whether any more new faces arrive at Elland Road before the contest in Manchester.

Junior Firpo and Jack Harrison are the two first-team signings this summer, but the club have also secured deals for talented youngsters Lewis Bate, Amari Miller and Sean McGurk.

Fleetwood Town Pre-Season Friendlies form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W

Leeds United Pre-Season Friendlies form:
  • W

Team News

Leeds United's Diego Llorente celebrates scoring their first goal against Liverpool in the Premier League on April 19, 2021© Reuters

Grayson made six changes during the course of the clash with Huddersfield, but it would not be a surprise to see more substitutions occur against Leeds due to the nature of the contest.

The Fleetwood boss will want to ensure that all of his players are ready for the new season, but the 51-year-old will also be thinking about the XI that is going to start the new campaign, meaning that there could be fewer opportunities for youngsters on Friday evening.

Morris and Garner - both on the scoresheet against Huddersfield - are in line to feature once again, while Jordan Rossiter is again expected to wear the captain's armband from the middle of the park.

Leeds, as mentioned, are in action against Blackburn on Wednesday night, so it is incredibly difficult to know what side Bielsa will send onto the field for this contest.

The clash with Guiseley was largely an Under-23 fixture, with a number of players being saved for the Blackburn clash, and many of those involved against Rovers should also feature in this contest.

Adam Forshaw was involved on Tuesday and should again receive some minutes here, while Bate, Miller and McGurk might be included following their arrivals at the club.

There could also be a debut for Firpo at left-back, while Robin Koch, Diego Llorente, Liam Cooper, Mateusz Klich and Tyler Roberts were all in action at Euro 2020 but should be involved over the next few days.

Head To Head

These two teams, somewhat surprisingly, have only locked horns on one previous occasion, with the contest taking place in the first round of the League Cup back in August 2016.

The two sides could not be separated at the end of 120 minutes, with the match finishing 2-2, but Leeds won 5-4 on penalties to progress, with Pablo Hernandez netting the decisive spot kick.

SM words green background

We say: Fleetwood Town 2-2 Leeds United

It is difficult to know exactly what to expect from this contest, as Leeds are playing a lot of football in such a short amount of time, but we feel that it will be an entertaining contest in Lancashire and have therefore predicted a high-scoring draw.

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General view of Fleetwood Town's Highbury Stadium from January 2018
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