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Match Preview: Leeds United v West Bromwich Albion

Leeds welcome the league leaders, knowing if they had played near their ability, they themselves would be top of the league.

Charlton Athletic v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by David Shipman - CameraSport via Getty Images

Match: Leeds United v West Bromwich Albion

Date: 1st October 2019

Time: 19.45 BST, 14.45 ET, 11.45 PST.

Venue: Elland Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England

TV Coverage: Sky Sports Football

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 welcome Slaven Bilic’s West Bromwich Albion to Elland Road after a disappointing 1-0 defeat away at Charlton Athletic on Saturday, which saw them drop to 4th position in the Championship.

The Baggies, on the other hand, now sit top of the pile after a 2-0 win at Loftus Road against Queens Park Rangers. They are also the only unbeaten side remaining in the Championship having won five and drawn four so far in the league this season.

The latest table based on xG from the excellent still has Leeds down as being the better side in every match played in the Championship this season. It also shows that West Brom deserve to be right up there.
Ben Mayhew -

Marcelo Bielsa announced that Leeds will be without Pablo Hernandez once again. They will also be without Adam Forshaw who has reaggravated the injury which has kept him out for the last couple of weeks, following his comeback for the second half against Charlton.

It has been the observation of many that Leeds have had less control in midfield without Forshaw and that lack of control was blamed by many for the poor second half against Derby County, although a lack of creativity was poor the problem against Charlton.

The lack of Pablo Hernandez will mean another chance (probably from the right) for Portugal international Helder Costa, who put in something of a disappointing performance in his first league start for Leeds at the weekend.

Marcelo Bielsa’s assertion in his press conference that not only does he not ignore the opinions of the fans but that he actively listens to it (while of course, making the decision himself) - will do nothing to reduce the calls amongst the fans for Eddie Nketiah to get the starting berth up front.

I am expecting the same line-up which we saw against Charlton. However, we did briefly see Nketiah and Bamford in the same side against Charlton, and also Nketiah and Wales international Tyler Roberts as well. As Tyler Roberts was not involved in today’s u23 match (recap and ratings available here), there is a chance he could get a chance as part of a two-up top, or as a number 10 with Klich dropping deeper, or out wide for the much maligned Jack Harrison.

As West Brom are unbeaten they are unlikely to make any major changes to their side. They have been playing a 4-2-3-1 formation and have a lot of quality in the side. The midfield two of Jake Livermore and Romaine Sawyers is very strong and they have 5 good options for the three in front of them, with Brazilian Matheus Pereira (on loan from Sporting CP) a massive creative threat.

Charlie Austin is a good natural finisher up front - even if he isn’t quite what he was a few years ago. In Sam Johnstone they have a good goalkeeper and Kyle Bartley and Semi Ajayi seem to be starting to gel well as a partnership at centre-back.

Leeds United V Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship
West Brom’s Kyle Bartley, during his time at Leeds.
Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Both managers will be looking at this match and expecting it to be a tough test. It could also be a very good game for the neutrals as I would not expect West Brom to come at sit behind the ball in way many other sides have. Hopefully, this will suit Leeds as we are the joint lowest home scorers in the League and have taken only five points from four home matches.

I am going to plump for a 2-1 win - but that is mostly my heart talking. What do you think the result will be? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @ThruItAllLUFC.