Match: Leeds United v Hull City
Date: 10th December 2019
Time: 19.45 GMT, 14.45 ET, 11.45 PST.
Venue: Elland Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
TV Coverage: Sky Sports Football (Red Button)
Streaming: iFollow, LUTV (outside the UK).
This match is also previewed in our latest podcast, which you should definitely listen to and can be listened to here.
Leeds United face 12th place Hull City at Elland Road as they look to extend their winning run, and hopefully extend their lead over third place in the Sky Bet Championship.
It is the latest in a run of Yorkshire derbies for the Whites following wins over Middlesbrough and Huddersfield Town.
Marcelo Bielsa announced in his press conference that Leeds will once again be without captain Liam Cooper who is struggling with a calf problem, although Leeds are boosted by the return of Kalvin Phillips from suspension.
The former Chile and Argentina boss also said there was “no news” so Adam Forshaw, Jamie Shackleton and Tyler Roberts are also very likely to miss out.
Marcelo provides an update on the squad: "There's no new news. Cooper is out of the group, and Phillips is back." pic.twitter.com/JhWIelv7LL— Leeds United (@LUFC) December 9, 2019
It is therefore likely that Phillips will move into his usual role with Ben White dropping back to centre-back. As Hull normally play with one centre-back Leeds are likely to play with a back four - usually you would expect that to be: Ayling, White, Berardi, Dallas when Cooper is out. However, Ezgjan Alioski’s performance in the win over Huddersfield could see him retain his place - in which case it will interesting to see which of Luke Ayling and Gaetano Berardi stay in the team at centre-back.
Ahead of the back four and Phillips you would expect no changes for Leeds unless there is another injury.
Phillips will play but who makes way is to be decided. #lufc— Adam Pope (@apopey) December 9, 2019
As for the visitors, they have switched between 4-1-4-1, 4-3-3, and 4-2-3-1 in recent weeks and I would expect them to go 4-1-4-1 at Elland Road to sit a bit deeper and try and soak up some of Leeds pressure - although they will play more football than a lot of teams that visit as they have a real attacking threat on a good day.
Hull have struggled for consistency this season. They had a good 2-1 win over Stoke City last time out but lost 3-1 to Barnsley FC before that. It also is not long since they won 3-0 against Fulham FC at Craven Cottage which is a result that shows they can get good results against teams that keep the ball well such as Leeds.
The main threat will obviously be Jarrod Bowen regardless of whether he plays up front, wide, or as a number 10. The former Hereford United man has 14 goals and four assists in 20 appearances this season following on from his 22 goals last season - two of which came at Elland Road in the Tigers 2-0 win, following Leeds’ excellent run of wins over Christmas.
League goals in 2019 (top four divisions)...— Sky Bet Championship (@SkyBetChamp) December 4, 2019
1. Jamie Vardy (26)
2. Jarrod Bowen (24)
3. Teemu Pukki (22)#EFL | @HullCity pic.twitter.com/g4voJ5cZRi
Hull’s central defensive pair of Jordy De Wijs and Reece Burke have a good partnership and won’t make things easy for Patrick Bamford. Australia midfielder Jackson Irvine is a very good player and Poland’s Kamil Grosicki will provide a huge threat if he is able to get time on the ball.
On the last podcast I said Hull City were a darkhorse for play-offs and I stand by that. However, Leeds should have too much for them and I am therefore going to go for a 2-0 win. What do you think the result will be? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @ThruItAllLUFC.