What can Albion expect from Leeds United today?

We spoke to Beren Cross of Leeds Live for the lowdown.

1. What's gone wrong for Leeds this season? Will Bielsa turn it around?

The top line is they simply haven’t been at it and then underneath that you might put it down to injuries and never being able to put out their strongest line-up, though I suspect more than 75 per cent of the Premier League would say the same.

Injuries hit Marcelo Bielsa’s side harder than most because of how tight a ship he runs on squad size. Last season, Leeds used the fewest players of all teams in the division with just 23 for the entire campaign. They have already been forced to use 24 players this term and only five clubs have used more. There have only been three ever-presents in the league this term. Ultimately, too many of their best players have missed too much of the season and there is not the strength in depth from the bench to change games.

Other than two pastings from Manchester United and Liverpool, United’s losses have been narrow and there has not been a huge wave of concern in recent weeks about where the season is going. There is a firm belief they can still pull away from danger in due course. Apart from an anaemic loss at Southampton last month, the Whites have put together seven performances with plenty of reasons for optimism, if not the points they have deserved. Most recently, they deserved to beat Leicester City in the best display of the season and then played Tottenham Hotspur off the park in London on Sunday for the first 45 minutes before fading away.

2. What have you made of Brighton’s start?

Evidently, that streak of four wins either side of the Everton loss has made for a very firm foundation to keep the Seagulls in the top half of the table. My perception from afar had been how well Brighton were doing and then I looked at their recent results. I was amazed to see there are no wins in seven. Even though there are five draws in there, it’s a run of form which will buoy Leeds hopes.

3. Who do Brighton need to be wary of?

Raphinha is the obvious answer. The Brazilian has quickly established himself as one of his nation’s best forwards despite making his debut just last month. The winger has looked like a one-man attack at times and carried Leeds through some of their poor performances this season. Every time he gets on the ball he makes you sit up in expectation for what he might do. Bursting with confidence, he has become one of the most sought-after forwards in European football.


4. Which Brighton player do you think is the danger for Leeds?

The statistics would suggest Leandro Trossard is the biggest attacking threat Leeds must deal with, at least while Neal Maupay and Alexis Mac Allister are out of the picture. Tariq Lamptey has impressed me as that marauding right wing-back from far, but he never seems to get a decent run of games.

5. Final score prediction?

Let’s sit on the fence with a 1-1. Brighton will be good at home and tough to break down, but Leeds have actually picked up more points in their last seven than the Seagulls. It looks like a great time to play Brighton and Leeds should add Raphinha and Rodrigo to the team which competed so gainfully with Spurs.