Date: 12th July 2020
Time: 13.30 GMT, 08.30 ET, 06.30 PST.
Venue: Liberty Stadium, Plasmarl, Swansea, Wales.
Streaming/TV coverage: Sky Sports, LUTV.
Leeds United travel to Wales for the second time since Lockdown, hoping for a better result than the 2-0 defeat that was suffered against Cardiff City. Leeds record against the Welsh sides has been poor this season, with the other game against the Bluebirds being a 3-3 draw and Leeds losing 1-0 at home to Swansea in August.
Leeds’ issue against Swansea last time out was finishing (I know, hard to believe), but it does have to be taken into account that Leeds were the better side by a long way before Wayne Routledge’s last minute winner - the xG score was 2.06 - 0.46 in Leeds favour.
Swansea have had good results in the last two matches. In both the 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday and the 3-1 win at Birmingham City, the Swans played a 3-4-1-2 formation with Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher playing behind the talented front pairing of Andre Ayew and Rhian Brewster.
Brilliant performance. We've developed more cohesion in two games with a 3-5-2 than we have in 30+ games in a 4-2-3-1. Big call as to whether we keep this formation for Leeds on Sunday.— Ben Church (@JackArmy_) July 8, 2020
Despite most teams reluctance to go for their more attacking options in terms of shape againt us, I expect Swansea will continue with this three at the back formation. Swansea will feel they need to score to get something out of the match, and with Liverpool loanee Brewster and Ghana captain Ayew getting them in the right areas gives them a chance to do that.
If Swansea are struggling to keep hold of the ball (which can happen against Leeds) this formation allows them to sit in a low block if needed. They can stop their wing-backs pushing up as much, probably Conor Roberts and Jake Bidwell, and have Conor Gallagher play a bit deeper. This will allow them to have a low block, but with Brewster and Ayew as targets if they do try and get the ball forward.
Rhian Brewster scores his fourth goal in his fifth game after the restart of the Championship as he equalizes for Swansea against Birmingham. He’s showing Liverpool what they have in him.— Maxi (@MaaxiAngelo) July 8, 2020
If Swansea do play this way, their two strikers will necessitate Leeds moving into the 3-3-1-3 formation. This doesn’t have to result in any changes to personnel as all the players are used to switching to this in game. It will probably result in Pablo Hernandez/Tyler Roberts being wider than we have seen in recent games, and it could give a chance to either Ezgjan Alioski or Barry Douglas in the left-wing-back role. If it is to be the 3-3-1-3, I think that means Hernandez is more likely to start than Roberts, despite how well him coming off the bench has worked.
Leeds will need to play well to win this game, but there is no doubt that we are the better side. Brentford beat Derby County, but West Bromwich Albion have just drawn 1-1 with Blackburn Rovers. Leeds need to make the most of that result.
Swansea (3-4-1-2): Woodman; Naughton, Cabango, Guehi; Roberts, Fulton, Grimes, Bidwell; Gallagher; Ayew, Brewster
Leeds (3-3-1-3): Meslier; Ayling, White, Cooper; Dallas, Phillips, Harrison; Klich; Hernandez, Bamford, Costa.
Leeds seem to do better when I am more pessimistic, so screw it - 1-0 to Blackburn, from an xG of 0.2, Leeds will have an xG of 2.5. Worked last time - Leeds seem to do better when I am pessimistic, so screw it - 1-0 to Stoke.
Can’t change it now - 1-0 to Swansea.
What do you think the result will be? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @ThruItAllLUFC.