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

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

Leeds United and Liverpool will both be out to secure their fourth consecutive wins in the Premier League when the two historic English sides renew hostilities at Elland Road on Monday night.

The Whites secured a memorable 2-1 win at champions-elect Manchester City last time out, whereas Liverpool head into Monday's game having just been eliminated from the Champions League.


Match preview

Leeds United's Stuart Dallas celebrates scoring their second goal against Manchester City in the Premier League on April 10, 2021© Reuters

Pep Guardiola may have been hailed as the "magical" one by Marcelo Bielsa before last Saturday's battle at the Etihad, but it was 10-man Leeds who produced their own 90 minutes of wizardry to shock the runaway league leaders and follow in Manchester United's footsteps by prevailing 2-1 on Man City's turf.

The joy from Stuart Dallas's first-half opener was short-lived as Liam Cooper was sent for an early bath just before the break, and not until the 76th minute did City manage to restore parity through Ferran Torres, but a determined Dallas raced through in second-half injury time to slot home and propel Leeds to their result of the season so far.

Bielsa has now witnessed his team come up trumps in a 2-1 scoreline three times in a row following previous triumphs versus Sheffield United and Fulham - a spate of successes which sees them sit comfortably in 10th spot before the weekend's fixtures kick off - and ninth-placed Arsenal are only ahead on goal difference prior to their clash with Fulham.

The Whites have also lost just one of their last five at Elland Road, and another slice of history is on offer for Bielsa's side this weekend as they could become just the second team in the Premier League to beat both the league leaders and reigning champions in consecutive matches - following in Everton's footsteps from the 2009-10 season.

Leeds - who also boast identical tallies of 49 goals scored and conceded in league action, a testament to their unwavering commitment to attack - have not won four top-flight games on the trot for 20 years, and with Liverpool-linked Raphinha potentially sidelined for this game, equalling that feat from April 2001 may prove a bridge too far.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp pictured on April 10, 2021© Reuters

There was simply no breaking down the impenetrable wall of Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao and Nacho at Anfield in midweek, as Liverpool's wasteful attackers bowed out of the Champions League 3-1 on aggregate after a goalless draw with Real Madrid in the second leg of their quarter-final.

Another shot at continental glory has passed Jurgen Klopp by, and the German has previously played down his side's chances of finishing in the top four, but nine points from their last three matches sees the reigning Premier League champions sit just three points adrift of the Champions League places with seven matches left to play.

From dominating the English footballing landscape to fighting for their right to play in Europe's premier competition, an injury-hit Liverpool have experienced quite the fall from grace over the past year, but performances in the top flight are certainly improving, even if they did have to rely on a Trent Alexander-Arnold spectacular to get them over the line against Aston Villa.

Furthermore, the bulk of Liverpool's troubles have come at Anfield this season, as the Reds travel to Elland Road having won five of their last six league games on the road - keeping clean sheets in their last three - and they have lost just two of their most recent 13 top-flight games on rival turf.

A Mohamed Salah hat-trick helped Liverpool over the line in a seven-goal thriller with Bielsa's men earlier in the season, and Leeds' most recent victory over the Reds at Elland Road was also by a 4-3 scoreline, during which Mark Viduka bagged all four in the 2000-01 season.

Leeds United Premier League form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

Liverpool Premier League form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Liverpool form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D



Team News

Leeds United's Raphinha celebrates scoring their third goal against Southampton on February 23, 2021© Reuters

Leeds captain Cooper begins a three-match suspension following his straight red card against Man City, so Robin Koch will hope to be given the nod in the heart of defence over Pascal Struijk.

Jack Harrison returns after being unable to face his parent club, but Leeds continue to sweat over the fitness of Raphinha, who was forced off with seconds remaining at the Etihad and will need to pass a late fitness test for this game.

Rodrigo remains out of contention as he battles his way back from a muscular issue, and Helder Costa could keep his spot in the team if Raphinha does not make the cut.

As well as long-term absentees Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk, Curtis Jones's muscular issue appears to be more serious than first thought, as he was not involved in any capacity against Real Madrid.

Klopp's decision to start Roberto Firmino over Diogo Jota did not pay dividends in midweek, so the Portuguese attacker will certainly hope to come back for Monday's game.

James Milner was given the nod in midfield over Thiago for the visit of Real, but the Spaniard - along with Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - are both pushing for inclusion in the middle.

Leeds United possible starting lineup:
Meslier; Ayling, Llorente, Koch, Alioski; Phillips; Costa, Dallas, Roberts, Harrison; Bamford

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Kabak, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Milner; Salah, Jota, Mane


SM words green background

We say: Leeds United 1-3 Liverpool

Leeds can be forgiven for viewing the visit of Liverpool as another winnable tie given their exploits at the Etihad, but the champions - soon to be dethroned - are always capable of producing the goods away from home. The possible absence of Raphinha would be a killer blow to the hosts' attacking prowess, and while the Whites should still have enough about them to find the back of the net, we still expect Klopp's men to right the wrongs of midweek and secure a vital three points.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 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.Over 2.5:data


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How you voted: Leeds vs Liverpool

Leeds United
27.4%
Draw
13.2%
Liverpool
59.3%
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Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa pictured on February 27, 2021
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City36265576294783
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd362010670422870
3Leicester CityLeicester362061065442166
4Chelsea361810855332264
5Liverpool36189963422163
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs361781163412259
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham361781156461059
8Everton36168124643356
9Arsenal361671350381255
10Leeds UnitedLeeds36165155753453
11Aston Villa36147155144749
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves36129153549-1445
13Crystal Palace36128164061-2144
14Southampton36127174763-1643
15Burnley36109173351-1839
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle36109174362-1939
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton36814143742-538
RFulham36512192650-2427
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom36511203370-3726
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3662281962-4320

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