Date: 9 February 2019
Time: 13.00 BST, 8.00 AM EST 10 AM ART
Venue: Riverside Stadium
Streaming: LUTV, iFollow, Riverside LIVE
Check livesoccertv for additional information.
All-time Record: Leeds v Boro: 38W 28D 32L
Reverse Fixture: 31 August 2018: Leeds 0-0 Middlesbrough
Leeds have finally hit a bit of a rough patch, only picking up six points out of a possible 15 since the first of the year. And while one of those victories was the extremely dominant 2-0 win over Derby County, Leeds has also lost 4-2 at Nottingham Forest, 2-1 away to Stoke City and 3-1 at home to Norwich City.
A win, or at the very least a draw, against Boro, a solid team right in the thick of the playoff race, would go a long ways towards settling the nerves of everyone at the club after Norwich overtook Leeds on top of the table last weekend.
Having listened back, this - I think - is what Bielsa was saying about his team for Boro:— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) February 7, 2019
Definite starters: Casilla, Ayling, Jansson, Cooper, Alioski, Roofe, Harrison and Bamford.
Then, due to injury doubts: Forshaw or Phillips, Hernandez or Clarke, Klich or Shackleton.
The match away at the Riverside will be a little more complicated with some potential injury issues. Pablo Hernandez, Adam Forshaw, and Mateusz Klich are all game-time decisions. Kalvin Phillips would be a fine addition back into the squad, as he has seemed to perform in the defensive midfield role better than Forshaw, but losing Hernandez would be a serious blow. Jamie Shackleton has performed well coming in as a right back, but despite being a natural midfielder that was drafted into right back duty, he’s barely been used in the role in the first team, and starting in midfield away at Boro is a pretty tall task for the teenager.
One positive, however, from Marcelo Bielsa’s press conference, however, is the fact that Patrick Bamford will get the start up top. Bamford was an expensive addition back in August, coming over from Boro, but his time has been limited because of injury and because of the form of Kemar Roofe. Now with Roofe cooling off a tad, and Bamford finally back to something close to full fitness, Bamford will have to remind Leeds fans why the club paid all that money for him and perhaps score a hat trick against his old club, like he did against Leeds last season when he was playing for Boro.
This should be a stern test, and hopefully the team responds well after a well-deserved home defeat to Norwich. Only 16 matches remain in the season and it’s looking like this season will go down to the wire, so the more matches that Leeds can win, the better.