Leeds go toe-to-toe with Graham Potter’s Brighton and Hove Albion for the first time since 2017, with the Yorkshire outfit looking to bounce back from an FA Cup humiliation at the hands of Crawley Town which saw the game marred by a comedy of errors from Spaniard, Kiko Casilla.
The Elland Road side have lost three of their last seven meetings with the Seagulls. The most recent triumph for the Whites falling in March of 2017 when Leeds overcame, at the time, table-toppers Brighton, with Chris Wood heading home on the hour-mark and then putting the nail in the coffin five minutes before time when Wood sent David Stockdale the wrong way from a spot kick to put United’s play-off bid back on track. There are no new fresh injury concerns for Leeds, their only absentee being Kalvin Phillips who sustained his fifth bookable offence of the season against Spurs. Diego Llorente and Tyler Roberts are both fit for contention after recovering from injury and illness respectively. Saturday will also see the return of Ben White, to Elland Road, who was influential for Leeds last season and formed a tight-knitted bond with captain Liam Cooper at the heart of defence. White picked up the accolade of young player of the season following his awe-inspiring tenure in West Yorkshire. When queried about White’s return to Elland Road, the Argentine boss replied saying that everyone at the club ‘admires him as a player and an individual’ and ‘respects White for his services to the club’.
Brighton will make the journey from the South-Coast in patchy, inconsistent form with Graham Potter’s side winless in nine and hovering above the relegation zone by a margin of a mere three points. Albion have dropped 12 points from winning positions so far this season, the highest of any team in the Premier league. The Seagulls are clearly in short supply of that sucker-punch and ruthlessness in front of goal. Brighton were last in action on Wednesday evening in a wet and drizzly Manchester with Phil Foden’s strike on the stroke of half-time proving telling for Pep Guardiaola’s Cityzens. Brighton mustered up some half-decent chances but, like most teams, found it difficult to breach an assured and currently impenetrable. In the post-match interviews Pep branded Potter the ‘best English manager’ with his side clearly having quality at their disposable but unable to utilise it in the right way to a winning advantage.
With this game fascinatingly poised, who will come out on top. Bielsa’s ‘burn-out’ boys or ‘England’s best manager’ side
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