After a morale boosting 1-0 win over Burnley that nicely put twenty points on the board before the turn of the year, Leeds now face two away games in the space of four days. In the first they travel to The Hawthorns to face ‘Big Sam’s’ WBA.
Sam Allardyce, ex England and various other club manager has been brought in by the West Brom owners to replace Slave Bilic who was sacked the day after his team got a very respectable 1-1 draw at Manchester City.
‘Big Sam’ as he is known has a habit of landing at relegation threatened teams and getting them into a safe position in the Premier League. He is yet to see one of the teams he’s managed get relegated from the top flight.
Leeds will probably keep the same starting X1 with Kalvin Phillips, who had a MOTM performance alongside Luke Ayling in the centre of defence. It may be a little too soon for Deigo Llorente who has struggled for fitness since his move to Leeds.
One player who also seems to be struggling at the moment is Mat Klich, who is nearing 125 games for the club since moving to Leeds. Myself I’d opt for Jamie Shackleton in his position and give Klich a rare game on the bench. Ian Poveda had a good performance during a substitute appearance against Burnley, he is a good ‘impact payer’ and will probably come on in the second half. The winger certainly offers something direct when called upon by Bielsa.
West Brom achieved a creditable 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday evening so will be full of confidence for the visit of Leeds. This game looks a really close one to call and Marcelo Bielsa will be wary of Sam’s new charges.
A draw wouldn’t be a bad result for Leeds, a win would be superb. Leeds 2-1.
By Keith Ingham