Leeds United return to Premier League action as they welcome Arsenal to Elland Road on Sunday, in a game both sides will be looking to bounce back from their poor form prior to the international break.
Where and When?
Venue: Elland Road
Date: Sunday, 22nd November 2020
Time: 16:30 (GMT)
Marcelo Bielsa’s side lost their last two matches by 4-1 against Leicester City and Crystal Palace respectively, needs maximum points in their next fixture against Arsenal. The West Yorkshire Side have been inconsistent and might be losing momentum with the successive heavy defeats.
The team is currently placed 15th on the log and they have scored 14 goals so far and conceded 17. Though, it can be argued that the absence of influential defensive midfielder Kalvin Phillips due to injury, hasn’t helped the team at all. Though, Phillips is back in training but he remains a doubt for this game.
Leeds will have to be at its best on Sunday if they are to stop the losing streak and get the maximum points. Their high octane football might play into Arsenal’s counter attacking system under Mikel Arteta if they are not careful.
The last time both sides met in the league was the Arsenal invincible season (2003/2004 season), when Arsenal defeated Leeds by 5-0 at Highbury and 4-1 Elland Road respectively. Arsenal won the league that season while Leeds United got relegated.
Though, Arsenal defeated Leeds in the FA Cup by 1-0 at the Emirates stadium January last year under Unai Emery, the present team under Arteta are far from invincible.
Winning last season FA Cup, this season Community Shield and their wonderful run in the Europa League is shielding Mikel Arteta away from much criticism.
Arsenal needs to improve after losing by 3-0 to Aston Villa at the Emirates stadium before the international break. The Gunners have won 4 and lost 4 games in the league, scoring 9 goals and conceding 10 in the process. They are seated 11th on the table.
Despite the their poor form, Arsenal still carry goals threat with the caliber of players at Arteta’s disposal. Arteta has been pragmatic in his style of play against the “bigger teams”, but will he go all out and match Leeds in the ball possession based football?
Mohamed Elneny who has formed a solid partnership with Thomas Partey in the midfield will miss this game due to isolation. He tested coronavirus positive when he went to represent Egypt during the international break. Partey himself is a doubt because of the injury he sustained against Aston Villa, which made him miss Ghana’s African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Arsenal have the wherewithal to continue its good form against Leeds come Sunday, and Arteta will have much to say concerning the outcome.