Match: Leeds United v Brentford F.C.
Date: 21st August 2019
Time: 19.45 BST, 2.45 PM EDT, 15.45 ART
Venue: Elland Road Stadium, Leeds, England
Television: Sky Sports Red Button (UK & Ireland)
Streaming: iFollow club websites, Sky Go Extra (UK & Ireland)
Brentford have had a marginally shakier start to their season compared with this time last year; having won only one match so far, pushing them to 12th in the table compared with Leeds’ impressive 1st. It goes without saying that all eyes will be on Brentford transfer recruit and ex-Leeds stalwart Pontus Jansson as the Sweden interntional had a somewhat controversial exit from Elland Road which has been the talk of the city.
Leeds enter the pitch at Elland Road with a strong start to the season behind them, coming from a comfortable 2-0 win away at Wigan Athletic the preceding weekend, however wounds of fixtures past will undoubtedly still be stinging. Leeds have yet to beat Brentford under Marcelo Bielsa and the 2-0 defeat at Griffin Park in April is still a hard pill to swallow.
Brentford’s Ollie Watkins scored a scrappy equaliser for the Bees at home this weekend and the gap left by the exit of the club’s 2018-19 player of the year, forward Neal Maupay who went to Premier League Brighton & Hove Albion for a rumoured £20m, is undeniable.
Leeds fans will no doubt be watching forward Patrick Bamford with an eagle eye to see if he can keep up his scoring record; the ex-Boro striker and Leeds’ most expensive signing since Robbie Fowler has certainly been one of the most scrutinised players from all sides.
All signs originally pointed to ex-Argentina manager Bielsa fielding an unchanged side from the Wigan victory, until news broke that Captain Liam Cooper, and left-back options Barry Douglas and Ezgjan Alioski were doubtful for the match. It is therefore a possibility that Gaetano Berardi and Jamie Shackleton come into the side to replace them. Theoretically, Leeds should be able to seal a convincing victory and continue their superior form but only time will tell if old habits die hard.