Brighton & Hove Albion will travel to Elland Road as they face Leeds United for the first time since 2017. The last time these 2 sides met was in the Championship, where The Whites beat The Seagulls 2-0. The current Burnley man Chris Wood scored two for Leeds United.
Although that was a long time ago and since then the managers have changed, players have been shuffled widely and the playing styles are completely different under new management.
Leeds, as well as Brighton, is in a bit of a grey patch with the former losing both of their last couple of matches against Tottenham in the Premier League and Crawley Town in the FA Cup having conceded six in time and not scoring a single goal while the latter are without a win in their last nine Premier League matches (they did win in their FA Cup fixture on penalties).
Brighton played magnificently against Manchester City in the last match and many of their last nine fixtures only to lose due to lack of creativity in the final third and/or lack to convert chances. And Graham Potter’s side will be looking to have that ball in the final third considering the space Leeds’ defence leaves between the lines. Meanwhile, Bielsa will call for a reaction from the players to defend well and attack with intent against Brighton.
WHEN & WHERE?
Date: Saturday 16th January, 2021
Time: 15:00 (UK)
Venue: Elland Road
Ben White will return to Elland Road for the first time since his tenure, having spent a full season on loan starting 46 games for the club with an impressive performance at the back which helped Leeds gain promotion to the Premier League. He will be familiar with Marcelo Bielsa’s strategies and the playing style of his ex-colleagues which should give him an upper hand. His battle against Bamford will be key as he will try to shut down his former teammate from all the goal-scoring opportunities he’s fed with.
Speaking to the press about Ben White, Marcelo Bielsa said, “All of us here, we admire him as a player. We respect him and love him as a human being. He was an excellent professional as well as a teammate and we hope his career allows him to grow as he deserves it.”
A win for Leeds could take them up to the 10th position while a Brighton win could bridge the gap between themselves and the relegation zone.
Leeds Starting XI: Meslier could return in goal replacing Kiko Casilla who played in the FA Cup, with Alioski playing as left-back, Liam Cooper and Ayling being the centre-backs and the right-back would be the ever reliant Stuart Dallas.
With Kalvin Phillips out due to suspension, Pascal Struijk will look to play in the Centre-defensive role. Harrison could start on the left with Raphinha playing on the right and Rodrigo could partner Klich in the attacking midfield position.
Patrick Bamford the leading goalscorer for Leeds should start in the forward position.
Brighton Starting XI: Sanchez on goal with Burn, Lewis Dunk, and Adam Webster playing as centre-backs.
Solly March could return to his left-midfield position with Bissouma playing alongside Ben White in the Centre-midfield position and on the right Joel Veltman could start as Tariq Lamptey still looks struggling with injury.
Neal Maupay could return to the starting 11 playing as a striker with Trossard on his right flank and Mac Allister playing on the left.