Leeds United VS Sheffield United, a home win

Posted Sat, 03 Apr 2021 00:25:36 GMT        

Match Time:4/3/2021 22:00 Saturday  (GMT+8)

English Premier League --  Leeds United   VS   Sheffield United

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Match preview

Only twice since the end of September have Leeds won successive league matches, but that will be the aim for Marcelo Bielsa's side this weekend against the division's worst team.

 

Patrick Bamford was the star of the show at Craven Cottage two weeks ago with a goal and an assist for Raphinha in United's 2-1 victory.

 

That win leaves Leeds 11th in the table, two points behind Aston Villa directly above them and a further point behind ninth-placed Arsenal.

 

It has been an impressive first campaign back in the top flight for the Whites, and Bielsa will be eager to keep the momentum going with just nine more games to play.

 

After this visit of bottom side Sheffield United, though, Leeds have a daunting run of fixtures against Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in four of their next five games.

 

Three of those matches are at Elland Road, where Leeds have kept a clean sheet in three of their last four games, which is as many as their previous 27 top-flight games there.

 

Putting three points on the board this weekend is important, then, but the Blades will also be keen to give their supporters something be positive about with a Yorkshire derby win.

 

The visitors have already thrown in the towel with regards to their survival prospects following a run of six defeats in seven games, failing to score in all but one of those losses.

 

Indeed, Sheff Utd have scored a league-low 16 Premier League goals this season and have the lowest shot conversion rate in the division, netting just 6.56% of their attempts.

 

That latest league reverse at the hands of Leicester leaves them 14 points adrift of safety with just 21 points left to play for, effectively meaning that they may need to win every match from this point on.

 

United's last match before the international break was a 2-0 loss to Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-finals, so it is now a case of crossing off their remaining league matches and waiting for their relegation fate to be confirmed.

 

Leeds United Premier League form:

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Sheffield United Premier League form:

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Sheffield United form (all competitions):

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Team News

Rodrigo Moreno missed the win at Fulham with a minor injury, but the two-week hiatus has given the forward a chance to rest up and he should be back available here.

 

Liam Cooper is another doubt for Leeds due to illness, while Adam Forshaw and Pablo Hernandez are definitely out.

 

Centre-back Diego Llorente played 45 minutes for Spain during the international break, while Ezgjan Alioski played a full part in North Macedonia's shock win over Germany on Wednesday, but both men are expected to start on Saturday.

 

Bamford scored the only goal in Leeds' 1-0 win at Bramall Lane in the reverse fixture - the last Leeds player to score home and away against Sheff Utd in the same league season was Peter Swan in 1987-88.

 

As for the visitors, who are being managed by Paul Heckingbottom until the end of the campaign following Chris Wilder's departure, they will hope to have a couple of key players back from injury.

 

John Egan and Chris Basham are closing in on a return, as is midfielder Sander Berge, while Enda Stevens is another pushing for inclusion despite withdrawing from the Republic of Ireland squad.

 

With Billy Sharp carrying an injury, Oli McBurnie and David McGoldrick may get the nod to lead United's attack.

 

Leeds United possible starting lineup:

Meslier; Ayling, Llorente, Struijk, Alioski; Raphinha, Phillips, Dallas, Harrison; Roberts, Bamford

 

Sheffield United possible starting lineup:

Ramsdale; Basham, Egan, Ampadu; Baldock, Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens; McGoldrick, McBurnie

 

We say: Leeds United 2-0 Sheffield United

Sheffield United have won their last two away league games against Leeds and are seeking a third in a row in this fixture for the first time ever.

 

The Blades are now effectively playing for pride alone, though, whereas Leeds have a tangible target to aim for - finishing in the top half.

 

Given Leeds' strong defensive record at home of late, combined with the visitors' terrible scoring return, we are backing a routine victory for the Whites on Saturday.

 

 

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Nowgoal3.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. 

 

Prediction: Leeds United 2-0 Sheffield United

O/U Picks: Under 3.5

Leeds United VS Sheffield United, a home win