Leeds hope to make it two home wins inside a week as Aston Villa visit Yorkshire on Saturday evening
After ending a two-game losing run with an emphatic home win over Southampton on Tuesday night, Leeds are in action at Elland Road again as Aston Villa travel to Yorkshire on Saturday tea-time.
Goals from Patrick Bamford, Stuart Dallas and Raphinha saw off the Saints, and all three will be hoping to combine again as Leeds aim to leapfrog Villa into eighth and make the dream of European football one step closer to becoming reality.
Dean Smith’s side will be hoping to end a miserable February with a win, having only taken four points from a possible 12 available from some challenging fixtures. A 2-1 defeat to Leicester last time out wasn’t helped by the absence of Jack Grealish, who ended a run of 48 consecutive Premier League starts with a dead leg.
Smith was furious that news of the injury was circulated on social media 24 hours before kick-off, and the influence of fantasy football was blamed for the news being leaked. Considering Villa were tweeting training ground pictures on Friday in which Grealish didn’t feature, FPL being blamed seems like a stretch, but Smith has apparently banned his players from playing it in future.
Grealish’s involvement is doubtful for the visit to Yorkshire, but given his importance to Villa, will be given every chance to prove his fitness.
Another big blow comes in the form of Matty Cash being out with a hamstring injury, meaning Ahmed Elmohamady will be tasked with stopping Jack Harrison and Raphinha on the Leeds wings, which doesn’t seem the most straightforward of tasks right now.
Kortney Hause and Wesley are also missing for the Villans, with the Brazilian striker hopeful for a return to the pitch in the next month.
Leeds have no fresh injury worries from the win over Southampton, with Kalvin Phillips the main concern still. The midfielder’s calf injury is being managed carefully, with Bielsa not keen on rushing the England man back and risking a longer period on the sidelines.
Robin Koch is set to return to training next week after a knee injury, while Gaetano Berardi and Rodrigo are also definitely missing. Diego Llorente came through his first 90 minutes for the club on Tuesday and is available again, but Mateusz Klich is 50/50 after coming off against Southampton after just under an hour after his own return from injury.
A win for either side would see them end the day in the top eight, before Spurs play on Sunday.
Leeds take on Aston Villa at Elland Road on Saturday, February 27th. Kick-off is at 5.30pm.