MX23RW : Thursday, October 22 21:23:37| >> :120:39796:39796:
Sep 19, 2020 at 3pm UK at Elland Road
LeedsLeeds United
4-3
FulhamFulham
Costa (5', 57'), Klich (41' pen.), Bamford (50')
Klich (82')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Mitrovic (34' pen., 67'), Reid (62')
Mitrovic (88'), Tete (90')

Preview: Leeds United vs. Fulham - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between newly-promoted duo Leeds United and Fulham, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Premier League football returns to Elland Road for the first time in 16 years on Saturday when Leeds United host fellow newly-promoted side Fulham.

Marcelo Bielsa's men made an explosive return to the top fight in a 4-3 defeat to champions Liverpool on the opening weekend, while Fulham were comfortably beaten at home to Arsenal.


Match preview

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa watches on as his side face Liverpool on September 12, 2020© Reuters

There was plenty made of the champions versus champions showdown on the opening weekend, and it did not disappoint as Liverpool and Leeds played out a very early and very strong contender for the game of the season.

It spoke volumes that as much of the pre-game buzz surrounded last term's Championship winners as it did last term's Premier League winners, and the rest of the league was certainly put on alert after watching Bielsa's side stand toe to toe with Liverpool.

Of course, not every game will be such a free-flowing and fearless festival of attacking football - nor such an exhibition of how not to defend - but Leeds will have taken huge belief from how close they ran a team that blew the rest of the league away last season.

Ultimately, though, they are left with no points on the board after matchday one, and a much-changed side were also dumped out of the EFL Cup on penalties at home to Yorkshire rivals Hull City on Wednesday night.

It is two defeats from two in all competitions since their long-awaited return to the top flight, then, meaning that Saturday's match against a fellow promoted side is all the more important to get off the mark.

Fulham manager Scott Parker pictured on September 12, 2020© Reuters

Fulham will be aware of exactly what to expect against Leeds - which perhaps Liverpool were not - having faced them twice in the Championship last season, although the most recent of those was the corresponding fixture which they lost 3-0.

That was also the scoreline in Fulham's first game back in the Premier League as they were swept aside by Arsenal in the opening match of the new campaign last weekend.

Scott Parker will be hoping for slightly easier tests coming up with Leeds and Aston Villa in their next two games, and they did at least pick up their first win of the campaign in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night.

A 1-0 triumph at Ipswich Town saw them book a third-round meeting with Sheffield Wednesday next week, while perhaps just as importantly saw star striker Aleksandar Mitrovic get off the mark for the season.

The Cottagers will likely need the Serbia international to be firing again on Saturday, having only scored 24 goals in their 23 Championship away games last season - a particularly worrying record considering Leeds conceded a league-low 14 times at Elland Road in 2019-20.

Leeds United Premier League form: L
Leeds United form (all competitions): LL

Fulham Premier League form: L
Fulham form (all competitions): LW


Team News

Leeds United forward Patrick Bamford celebrates scoring against Liverpool on September 12, 2020© Reuters

Leeds are unlikely to make many changes to their attacking unit after it caused Liverpool so many problems, which means that record signing Rodrigo Moreno could again be forced to wait for his full Premier League debut for the club.

The Spaniard did start in midweek but suffered a Leeds debut to forget by giving away the winning penalty at Anfield, whereas Patrick Bamford's goal on Merseyside could be enough to see him keep his place.

Bielsa made the full 11 changes to his side for the EFL Cup defeat to Hull and will welcome the vast majority of those who started at Anfield back into the fold.

Leeds are likely to be further boosted by the return of captain Liam Cooper at the heart of the defence.

Fulham could welcome new signings Alphonse Areola and Kenny Tete into their side after both players made their debuts for the club in midweek.

Antonee Robinson was another player handed his debut at Ipswich, although he may be forced to settle for a place on the bench for this one with Joe Bryan seemingly still above him in the left-back pecking-order.

Ola Aina, another new signing, could make his debut this weekend too, while Mitrovic is expected to return to the starting XI after only coming on as a sub against Arsenal.

Jean Michael Seri remains short of match fitness so this contest is likely to come too soon for him, while Stefan Johansen is sidelined with a foot injury.

Leeds United possible starting lineup:
Meslier; Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas; Costa, Klich, Phillips, Hernandez, Harrison; Bamford

Fulham possible starting lineup:
Areola; Tete, Ream, Hector, Bryan; Reed, Cairney; Kebano, Onomah, Cavaleiro; Mitrovic


SM words green background

We say: Leeds United 2-1 Fulham

In a strange way, Leeds may find matches like these more difficult than the ones against the top clubs this season. Liverpool allowed Leeds space to play in the confidence that they would be able to outscore their visitors, whereas Fulham are unlikely to be so generous.

We still expect the hosts to celebrate top-flight football returning to Elland Road with a victory, but they may find openings more difficult to come by than they did last weekend.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


ID:414727:

Who will win Saturday's Premier League clash between Leeds and Fulham?

Leeds
Draw
Fulham
Leeds
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Fulham
0.0%
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Fulham manager Scott Parker pictured on July 22, 2020
Read Next:
Fulham season preview - predictions, fixtures, summer signings, starting XI
>
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.