Leeds United face a home test against a buoyed West Ham who defeated Manchester United midweek.
After a penalty win, the Whites will be looking to turn their form around with a fixture that last year did not bring much joy.
West Ham were on the receiving end of 6 points when the teams faced eachother last season and it will be hard to see this result continuing to bear fruition from the London side in the current state of things.
Injuries, poor form and previous results are bound to linger in the mind and Leeds will be hopeful to break their current duck against the visitors.
The Whites are crippled by injuries at this moment in time with Patrick Bamford, Diego Llorente and Robin Koch all set to miss out once again.
Several plays have been listed as questionable including Luke Ayling, Raphinha and Jack Harrison. Pascal Struijk misses out due to his suspension.
West Ham will be without Ryan Fredericks who is only a backup and Michael Antonio returns from his suspension.
West Ham: WWDDL
Declan Rice vs Kalvin Phillips
Inseparable for England, fierce rivals for today. Both Phillips and Rice will be looking to show their qualities in a game that will continue the debate of who is the better holding midfielder.
Rice will be expected to burst forward if Moyes has done his homework on Bielsa’s man to man tactics and it will be up to Phillips to halt all forward bursting midfielders.
Head to Head vs West Ham
Games won: 48
Games drawn: 29
Games lost: 29
Last five results: WDDLL
Last five results at Elland Road: WWWDL
With a side in flux and test to secure three points in the league, Leeds’ backs are against it for the visit of West Ham but that could work to their benefit.
West Ham will see today’s fixture as a potential three points and this brings a vibrancy and attacking intent to their game, something Leeds will relish.
By Ryan Ingham
Leeds United host Liverpool in what could be a Sunday thriller that plenty of fans would have highlighted when the fixtures were released.
In a game that has been marred by the controversy of the Brazil national teams complaint against the Premier League; it looks like Leeds will now have Raphinha available for selection, with Liverpool seeing the return of Fabinho, Firmino and Allisson.
The game has been a thrilling encounter in both exchanges last year; with a ding dong battle for supremacy on the opening game of the season and a feisty 1-1 at Elland Road.
Leeds will have a near fully fit squad to choose from ahead of the clash with the return of Junior Firpo and Mateusz Klich from Covid. Robin Koch remains unable to be selected.
New signing Dan James could be set to feature for the whites.
Although now available for selection, Roberto Firmino is not set to feature for Liverpool along with James Milner and Takumi Minamimo.
The midfield trio
Leeds have shown to be exposed in their usually rigid midfield in the Premier League this season. The likes of Phillips, Rodrigo and Dallas will have their hands full today with an exciting trio of Fabinho, Elliott and Henderson.
The battle both defensively and offensively will be won or lost in the middle third of the field today and could see a few cards during the game.
Can Phillips keep Elliott from carrying the ball forward while Dallas keeps Fabinho from his marauding runs? We will see come 4:30pm.
Head to Head vs Liverpool
Games won: 22
Games drawn: 23
Games lost: 51
Last five results: DLLLD
Last five results at Elland Road: LLDLD
Leeds’ start to the Premier League has been shaky and still without a win. The visit of a Liverpool side buoyed by an unbeaten start to their season will make it all the much harder to grind out a positive result.
By Ryan Ingham
Leeds face Burnley on Sunday hoping to get their first win of the season. The last two game have brought some improvements, the midfield looked stronger with the trio of Phillips, Dallas and Klich but the defence still looked porous against Everton and even Crewe in the Carabao Cup got efforts that Meslier had to deal with before Leeds scored a trio.
Marcelo Bielsa in his press conference on Friday said that Deigo Llorente came through 45 minutes in the cup tie without problems and is available if picked for the game on Sunday. He had no information on who else will be in the starting X1. It would be a surprise if he made many changes to the team that faced Everton.
Leeds did the double over Burnley last season, a very nervy 1-0 win at Elland Road and a 4-0 battering of their Lancashire hosts later in the season at Turf Moor. Burnley survived the drop by getting some important wins at the business end of the season. They finished 11 points ahead of relegated Fulham in seventeenth place.
Rodrigo beats Peacock-Farrell for one of his two goals last season.
This season they’ve brought in Wayne Hennessy and just this week re-signed former Leeds player Arron Lennon. So far this season they’ve lost both games, a 2-1 defeat at home to Brighton and were defeated 2-0 at Liverpool. They did progress at Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup 2nd round thanks to penalties.
Leeds do well, usually at Turf Moor and will be confident getting three points. Leeds 2-1.
By Keith Ingham
Leeds and Everton fought out a exciting 2-2 draw at a full Elland Road. The game was the first most had seen there since the 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town back in February 2020. The emotion of remembering past heroes and fans lost during those months was clear to see and I had myself a few tears as both sets of players and fans saluted them with a minutes applause.
Kalvin Phillips and summer signing Junior Firpo started as Leeds made two changes from the opening-day defeat at Man Utd. Rodrigo moved to the bench, Robin Koch injured.
Rafa Benitez drafted Yerry Mina and Alex Iwobi into the Everton starting line-up as he made two changes from the opening-day win over Southampton.
Everton were the first to show intent as Doucoure put an effort into the Kop and Gray tore down the wing and sent a cross that just eluded the toe end of Calvert-Lewin. In return Leeds played some smart football with Raphinha mostly involved moving the ball from left to right but not threatening Pickford’s goal.
Klich had a effort deflected wide and Phillips put on over the bar after a short corner routine. Bamford did tremendously well to win the ball despite getting fouled but it came to no avail, much to the annoyance of Leeds’ number 9. The first goal surprisingly went to Everton after Calvert-Lewin clashed with Cooper in the penalty area, the referee was alerted by VAR and after checking the incident he awarded the penalty. Calvert-Lewin, despite the antics of one bare chested fan in the Kop rubbing his belly put the ball past Meslier. 1-0 Everton.
Calvert-Lewin claims a penalty.
Leeds urged on by the capacity crowd tried their best to get the leveller but when it came on 41 minutes it was from a ricochet off an Everton player that bounced to Bamford who set off towards the Everton goal. He saw Klich and with a deft flick put the ball on a plate for the midfielder and the Polish international finished superbly. A goal that was met with adulation all around Elland Road. Meslier did make a good save to deny Doucoure just before the break to keep Everton out.
Half Time 1-1.
Klich levels matters.
Within minutes of the second half Everton claimed a second, the ball was moved towards the Leeds goal and bounced off a defender before it was moved to Gray, it looked as he had spurned the chance but he recovered and beat Dallas before despatching a shot that went past Meslier and into the net. It could have been worse for Leeds minutes later but Meslier saved Calvert-Lewin’s header when he was unmarked in the area.
Leeds after those two moments set about finding an equaliser and both Dallas and Raphinha were denied by Everton defenders as the visitors hung on to their lead. At the other end Meslier denied Calvert-Lewin with a smart save. Bielsa looked to his bench to improve things, Roberts and Shackleton replacing Klich and a tired looking Firpo on the hour.
Leeds moved Dallas to left back as Shackleton came into midfield and the youngster had a fine appearance always wanting to move Leeds forward. The equaliser came with under twenty minutes to play, a corner came back out to Phillips who put in a superb cross that was cleared into the air and fell to Cooper who laid the ball into the path of Raphinha, the Brazilian saw a gap at Pickford’s near post and with precision and power put it past the England goalkeeper. A fine goal.
Raphinha makes it 2-2
The referees note book had a few names go in it, Coleman and Doucoure for late challenges as Leeds went for the win. Cooper was wide from a free kick, much to his annoyance and Struijk also was wide of the Everton goal from another free kick. Both teams had efforts in the last ten minutes, for Everton Townsend tested Meslier and Coleman put an effort wide of the post. Substitute Keane had their best chance from a corner but he headed straight at Meslier. Bamford had an effort blocked for Leeds.
As the ninty minutes mark past both Roberts and Bamford claimed penalties, the first on Roberts looked like a fine tackle by the Everton defender. The one involving Bamford looked more close as both players looked like they were holding each other but despite protests from Bamford strangely VAR saw no wrong doing by the man in blue. It looked from my view that it was as debatable as the one given to Everton earlier in the game. Full Time 2-2.
It was an absorbing contest with two good teams on view, I think Leeds shaded it, they definitely did on possession. It was a superb return to the stadium and fans cheered their favourites around the ground at the end of the game. They’ed waited a long time to celebrate the Championship title and a return to tge Premier League with their heroes.
Rachel and Leeds ladies Laura Bartup.
God it was good to be back !!
By Keith Ingham
Leeds United will look to undo last weekends wrongs as they face Everton.
A capacity Elland Road crowd will await the Whites; who have not experienced the stadium full for a home fixture since their 2-0 win over Huddersfield before Covid tore apart the country.
This game will be a return to home and former familiar surrounds for not only the players; but also a massive opportunity for the fans to finally feel like life is back to normal.
Leeds will look to correct any doubts after their humiliation at Old Trafford; a 5-1 defeat that won’t do anything but ask questions of how Leeds will settle in the Premier League in the clubs second season.
Everton will look to continue from their bright start to Rafa Benitez’s reign; a surprise comeback 3-1 victory at Goodison was plenty more than what fans and pundits expected for the club with several questions hanging over it.
Kalvin Phillips could be set to feature for Leeds having been an unused substitute at Old Trafford but may not be in line for a start. Diego Llorente will not be in contention. Junior Firpo could make his first start in front of a packed Elland Road.
James Rodrigues will continue to be absent from the Everton squad. Ben Godfrey, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jean-Phillipe Gbamin and Andre Gomes missed out on the clash against Southampton. Moise Kean could be set to feature.
Raphinha vs Lucas Digne
There was a lot more to be designed of Leeds’ dynamic winger at Old Trafford and a first home game with a full Elland Road will bring not only pressure; but the support that the Brazilian has been waiting for.
Everton’s flying full back Lucas Digne showed flashes of brilliance last season and will want to continue to impress on cementing his spot in the France back four at the Euros.
Will Raphinha be able to transcend in front of the home fans and showcase his ability against another tough opponent?
Head to Head vs Everton
Games won: 52
Games drawn: 32
Games lost: 34
Last five results: LDWWL
Last five results at Elland Road: WLDWL
It’s going to be a whirlwind of emotions for both fans and players tomorrow in a packed Elland Road and another test awaits Marcelo Bielsa. This time we hope to see three points and Elland Road knocking.
By Ryan Ingham
Leeds United began their campaign with a mouth watering fixture that even the most avid neutral will be intrigued to see.
An away trip to Old Trafford to face bitter rivals Manchester United brings with it not only a chance to rewrite the wrongs of the torrid 6-2 defeat from last season, but also a platform to begin the season with a statement of intent.
Leeds will be wanting to start on the front foot and challenge a new look United side bolstered by the signing of dynamic winger Jadon Sancho.
The Whites have also made moves in the areas of need by adding flying full back Junior Firpo from Barcelona.
Both clubs will look at this game as a measuring stick to see whether further investment will be needed prior to the closure of the window. Leeds are linked with several improvements in their midfield and attack but have yet to make any formal approaches. Whereas United may look to see whether their holding midfield and defence are up to the task of what could be a positive season under Ole Gunnar Solskaer.
Manchester United: WDLW
Preseason has raised questions for both sides who have not looked at their full potential. United have seen there’s hampered by delays and registered two wins. Leeds on the other hand have seen tests against Betis, Ajax and Villarreal test their resolve against strong sides.
Leeds look to have a full squad ready for the season but have doubts in starters Junior Firpo, Stuart Dallas and Diego Llorente who may be limited to game time.
The home side will be without Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Edinson Cavani and Alex Telles. There are also questions over Dean Henderson, Eric Bailly and Amad Diallo.
Kalvin Phillips vs Bruno Fernandes
This clash was a footballing masterpiece in the 0-0 draw at Elland Road. Fernandes spent the game trying every trick in the book to bypass Phillips but the energetic midfielder looked perfectly equipped to deal with the Portuguese star.
Leeds will look to cut down United’s fast paced attacking style and Phillips will have to be on his best game to keep the devil from the proverbial door.
Head to Head vs Manchester United:
Games Won: 26
Games Drawn: 36
Games Lost: 47
Last five results: DWLLD
Last five Old Trafford Results: DLDWL
It’s a game we all look for when the fixtures come out and a perfect way to get excited for the new season. Leeds will go into this game full of confidence and give the title challengers a serious test.
We’re back again for another season in the Premier League and it’s a brilliant feeling!
By Ryan Ingham
It doesn’t seem that long ago and it isn’t that our own Kalvin Phillips ran to console his England teammate Bukayo Saka after the youngster had missed his penalty and end thoughts of an England Euro 20 final victory.
Now comes what fans have waited for… the Premier League 2021/22 and this time Leeds fans and the rest can actually go back to their grounds and watch their heroes.
It’s been a long time away too, Championship won, superb first season back in the EPL and sadly three of the team that won the title have left for pastures new.
We all will miss the genius of ‘El Mago’, the madcap antics of Ejanni Alioski and the battling qualities of ‘The Warrior’ Gaetano Berardi and Casilla left too. All played a part in those uncertain but joyous times and we thank them for their efforts.
The signings coming in have been mainly for the under 23s squad with Chelsea youngster Lewis Bate, a very promising midfielder coming in to the squad. The players signature was saught after by many but Victor Orta’s ability of selling the club tipped the balance in Leeds’ favour.
The first team squad has been boosted by Junior Firpo, a left back from Barcelona who has showed pre season that he will be an asset and Leeds finally have a left back by trade. The other first team signing was goalkeeper Krisstoffer Klaesson from Norwegian side Valerenga, another player who was attracting attention from all over Europe. Leeds are expected to do more business before the transfer window closes at the end of August.
Fans will be hoping the Leeds can at least emulate the top ten finish or go even a place or two better and continue to improve season on season. It may be harder as the second season in the top flight can affect teams. Just look at Sheffield United, impressive in their first season and woeful in their second leading them to be relegated.
Pre season is about putting minutes in legs so both the under 23s results and the first team in games need to be taken as that. That said the sharpness, definitely in defence needs to be taken to a higher level when Leeds take the field at old farmyard on the 14th of August.
The attacking unit may also need to improve but the performances of youngster Crysencio Summerville have given fans food fo thought. He definitely looks sharper than Poveda and Costa who are back up for Raphinha and Harrison. The young winger was said to be loaned out but now may be kept with hope of using his talents from the bench to start with, one to watch this season.
The fans are only a few weeks from taking their first walks back to Elland Road, they may have been there previously to get their new season’s shirts. Both have met with mixed views but it’s a shirt with a Leeds crest on it and both home and away have sold in their thousands since their release.
What awaits the fans is hopefully another season of improvement, but more importantly to every supporter is this time they will be there to witness it good or bad. Let’s get behind the team, sing our hearts out and enjoy every bloody minute of it.
By Keith Ingham
The last time I saw a football game was eighteen months ago, the 2-0 over Huddersfield Town and ever since that game I’ve become an ‘armchair’ fan.
I’ve seen Leeds lift the Championship title in an empty Elland Road and some superb performances in their first season back in the Premier League after sixteen long years away from it. I also watched England’s glorious failure after reaching the final of Euro 20. It was good but not great.
My first ‘live’ game was at Blackburn Rovers amongst 5.000 jubilant fans so pleased to get to see their team again. Marcelo Bielsa took a strong side to Ewood Park.
The only players absent were Pat Bamford, club captain Liam Cooper and Ian Poveda. First team stalwarts Luke Ayling, Tyler Roberts and Stuart Dallas were on bench with Sam Greenwood who played and scored at Guiseley the night before. Junior Firpo made his first appearance for Leeds after his summer move from Barcelona.
It was great to beside my friends Shane and Jamie Chambers, my son Ryan and we were treated to some superb songs from yesteryear celebrating ex heroes, Enoch Showumni, Dom Matteo, Jermaine Beckford, Luciano Becchio and ‘The Chief’ Lucas Radebe were all sung about as the fans found their voices after such a long time away. There was a ‘twist’ also to the Pablo Hernandez / Kiko Casilla song with it changed to “Junior Firpo, Junior Firpo plays for United with Deigo Llorente”.
The game was more about putting some minutes in legs, Leeds with Robin Koch as captain made a few chances in the first half with Raphinha creating havoc every time he was on the ball. Blackburn looked an organised side despite being without a lot of the players that were there last season.
The second half followed the same pattern but the final ball from Leeds just wasn’t perfect and many opportunities went astray after the last pass wasn’t good enough. Helder Costa had an excellent chance but put it well wide and the Blackburn keeper made an excellent save from a Struijk header.
Blackburn got the opener when they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Leeds area, McBride’s effort deflecting past Meslier and into the goal. Leeds equalised with less than minutes to play, Jack Harrison found Pascal Struijk who hit a firm shot that deflected past Kaminski.
At the end the fans got their chance to finally celebrate with their heroes on winning the Championship title when they sang “Campiones” and the players responded with applause towards the fans. That really sent goosebumps down the spine.
It was so good to see old friends meet, share their stories and show how they’ve missed their mates. It’s been a tough time for many away from the game we love.
Here’s to the next time I get the chance to watch the team I love.
By Keith Ingham