Match: Brentford v Leeds United
Date: 4 November 2017
Time: 17.30 GMT, 13.30 EDT
Venue: Griffin Park
Television: Sky Sports
Radio: BBC Radio Leeds (not available online)
Streaming: WatchESPN.com in the United States, check your local EFL rights holder for more information. We will also post a “How To Watch” post about two hours before the match as well.
All-time Record: Leeds United v Brentford: 12W 12D 10L
Leeds United face another in-form side as the team travels to West London to take on Brentford at Griffin Park, where Leeds have not won since 1950. Brentford is undefeated in eight straight Championship matches, as they last lost in the league on 12 September against Sheffield Wednesday.
Brentford made some smart moves in the off-season, despite losing some key members of their squad in the summer. Most notably, Ollie Watkins joined Brentford this summer from Exeter City in a £1.8 million deal, and with seven goals so far this season, he’s looking like a bargain.
Leeds will be desperately searching for points and a positive result, as the team has now lost six of the last eight matches in the Championship after losing at home against Derby County earlier in the week. As good as August had been for the Whites, October was absolutely brutal, and November looks to be a challenging month, as the team travels to Brentford, hosts Middlesbrough, travels to league leaders Wolverhampton, and ends the month with a short trip to Yorkshire rivals Barnsley.
Leeds United head coach Thomas Christiansen changed the lineup a little bit against Derby during midweek, but the despite taking an early lead, the team folded like a house of cards once Derby equalized. At this point, more changes are likely, right?
Pierre-Michel Lasogga was at least somewhat of a changed man against Derby, as he looked much better than the previous performance against Sheffield United. Does he deserve to start this match? Maybe not, but Christiansen seems to have faith in the big German striker, and so he will likely get the start, if for no other reason that it doesn’t look like anyone else could do any better.
Samu Saiz has been one of the few bright spots during the difficult stretch of form, and so barring anything crazy, he should start. I think that he will start on the wing, as Kalvin Phillips will start in the middle of the attacking trio, as he can drop back into the central midfield if the team needs to play a less attacking 4-3-3. Gjanni Alioski should probably get the start on the wing, unless Christiansen feels like changing the wings up as well.
The central midfield should feature Eunan O’Kane with Ronaldo Vieira, with Kalvin Phillips pushing up to play the number 10 in a 4-2-3-1 or in the central midfield of a 4-3-3 formation. This midfield combo worked wonders away at Bristol City, so perhaps Christiansen will go back to the same lineup that worked against the Robins.
The defence looks to have some question marks as well. Gaetano Berardi is no longer suspended after his red card against Bristol City, so he will likely start at left back with Luke Ayling starting at right back. Ayling shouldn’t start, as he is in dire need of some rest, but I don’t think that Christiansen is comfortable putting Ayling on the bench. Liam Cooper might be fit, and so if he is, look for him to partner Pontus Jansson in the central defence, although Matthew Pennington hasn’t necessarily done anything to warrant being benched in the last game, although he certainly did against Sheffield United. Stuart Dallas is a wild-card in all of this, as he played pretty well at left back against Derby, so maybe Christiansen will play the “hot” hand at left back.
Felix Wiedwald will likely once again not feature, as it looks like Andy Lonergan has made the staring goalkeeper position his own over the last few weeks, and nothing Wiedwald did against Leicester City in the League Cup would justify bringing him back into the first team.
Leeds haven’t won at Griffin Park since 1950. Leeds have also lost six of eight. So this match will either be a total blowout for Brentford, meaning that social media will explode after the match with a good number of fans “asking” if Christiansen deserves to be sacked, which he doesn’t, or it will be a tight, exciting match in which Leeds will somehow scrape out a famous result.
It’s gonna be a soulless 0-0 draw, isn’t it?
Brentford 0- 0 Leeds United.
Leeds United: (4-3-3) Lonergan; Ayling, Cooper, Jansson, Dallas; O’Kane, Vieira, Phillips; Saiz, Lasogga, Alioski.
Brentford: (4-2-3-1) Bentley; Dalsgaard, Egan, Bjelland, Clarke; Yennaris, Woods; Watkins, Sawyers, Jozefzoon; Vibe.