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

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Premier League clash between Leeds United and Southampton, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two teams separated by just two points in the Premier League table prepare to do battle at Elland Road on Tuesday evening as Leeds United play host to Southampton in their rescheduled fixture.

The Whites suffered a 1-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers in cruel fashion last time out, while Southampton managed to halt their losing run with a 1-1 draw against Chelsea.


Match preview

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa pictured on February 14, 2021© Reuters

Illan Meslier has had a week to forget in the Leeds goal. The young Frenchman shipped four at Arsenal - with one coming from the penalty spot after his calamitous error and foul on Bukayo Saka - but there was simply nothing he could do about Wolves' winner on Friday night.

Adama Traore finished off one of his trademark powerful runs with a thunderous effort which cannoned back off the crossbar, and the ball then proceeded to bounce off the back of a hapless Meslier into the Whites' net, and there were no more goals to be had at Molineux as Leeds lost for the third time in four matches.

The Whites' unpredictability and commitment to attacking makes for truly entertaining spectacles most weekends, but Marcelo Bielsa has now witnessed his side win three and lose six of their last nine in all competitions, and they have not shared the spoils in a game since their goalless stalemate with Arsenal back in November.

Leeds will welcome a return to the Elland Road turf - where they beat Crystal Palace 2-0 earlier this month - after two dismal away outings in the past week, although they can only boast a trio of victories from their last 10 outings on familiar territory, and only West Bromwich Albion (55) have let in more goals than Leeds' ravaged defence (43) at the time of writing.

Sixteen of the Whites' 40 strikes at the correct end of the pitch have come at their own ground, and while the hosts have Patrick Bamford hoping to rediscover his goalscoring touch, Southampton have their own prolific English striker aiming to take advantage of Leeds' vulnerability at the back.

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl pictured in February 2021© Reuters

Danny Ings is so often a threat in the opposition penalty area, but it was in his own box where the Southampton forward made a costly error against Chelsea at the weekend, as his poorly timed challenge on Mason Mount allowed his compatriot to salvage a draw for his team at St Mary's.

Takumi Minamino was the coolest man in the stadium when he put Southampton ahead in the first half, and while Ralph Hasenhuttl was pleased to see his side's five-game losing run come to an end, he will no doubt feel that all three points were there for the taking.

However, a point against a Champions League-chasing team gives Southampton something to build on over the coming weeks, and while any hopes of a shot at a European place have been extinguished, the Saints will hope to reignite their charge for a top-half finish against Leeds.

Hasenhuttl's men did win their last away match - a 2-0 triumph over Wolves in the FA Cup - but in the Premier League, their last victory on the road came against Brighton & Hove Albion in December, and they are currently on a three-game losing streak on unfamiliar territory in the top flight.

Tuesday's hosts Leeds (27) are the only side to have conceded more on the road than Southampton (24), although their 9-0 humiliation at Manchester United did not help matters in that regard, and the visitors' only Premier League win at Elland Road to date came in the 1997-98 campaign.

Leeds United Premier League form: WWLWLL

Southampton Premier League form: LLLLLD
Southampton form (all competitions): LLLWLD



Team News

Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips pictured on January 10, 2021© Reuters

Leeds received a major boost in the defensive department before the Wolves game as Diego Llorente returned to the substitutes bench, and the Spaniard could be in line for a start this week.

The possible return of Llorente could see Pascal Struijk move into the midfield as Kalvin Phillips remains sidelined with a calf problem, and the Englishman is joined by Rodrigo, Gaetano Berardi, Ian Poveda and Robin Koch on the sidelines.

Ezgjan Alioski will hope to earn a recall to the starting XI, but further changes on the hosts' end are unlikely despite two successive defeats.

Southampton had to make do without Stuart Armstrong for the Chelsea stalemate, but Hasenhuttl has confirmed that the midfielder could play a part this week.

However, Minamino and Moussa Djenepo are in no position to relinquish their spots out wide, while Ibrahima Diallo, Kyle Walker-Peters and Theo Walcott remain in the treatment room.

Che Adams will hope to come back into the Saints' attack, but after his delightful assist for Minamino's opener, Nathan Redmond will not want to be dropped either.

Leeds United possible starting lineup:
Meslier; Ayling, Llorente, Cooper, Alioski; Struijk; Raphinha, Klich, Shackleton, Harrison; Bamford

Southampton possible starting lineup:
McCarthy; Bednarek, Vestergaard, Salisu, Bertrand; Djenepo, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Minamino; Ings, Redmond


SM words green background

We say: Leeds United 1-2 Southampton

Being able to confidently predict the outcome of a Leeds game is no mean feat, but the hosts' confidence will undoubtedly be lowered after back-to-back defeats. Southampton are not exactly a dominant force away from home, although Hasenhuttl's men are out to prove that their resilient performance against Chelsea was not a one-off, so we are backing the Saints to finally claim a long-awaited three points at Elland Road.



Video prediction

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


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How you voted: Leeds vs Southampton

Leeds United
55.0%
Draw
18.9%
Southampton
26.1%
322
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Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa pictured on February 14, 2021
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City25185250153559
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd25147453322149
3Leicester CityLeicester25154644271749
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham25136639291045
5Chelsea25127641251643
6Liverpool25117745341140
7Everton2412483733440
8Aston Villa23113937261136
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs24106837271036
10Leeds UnitedLeeds25112124343035
11Arsenal25104113126534
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2596102632-633
13Crystal Palace2595112943-1432
14Southampton2586113143-1230
15Burnley2577111830-1228
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2551192632-626
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2574142643-1725
18Fulham25410112132-1122
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2528151955-3614
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2532201541-2611

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