Leeds United will be searching for their first win of the 2021/22 Premier League when they lock horns with Burnley at Turf Moor on Sunday afternoon.

Both Burnley and Leeds United will be looking to pick up their first victory of the new Premier League campaign when they face off against each other at Turf Moor on Matchday 3.

Burnley have had a difficult start to the 2021/22 season, having lost to Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 after taking the lead in the opening game. That was followed by a 2-0 defeat to title contenders Liverpool at Anfield. Having edged out Newcastle United on penalties in the Carabao Cup in midweek, Sean Dyche & co. will be aiming to get some points on the board in the league before going into the international break.

Leeds United, meanwhile, were hammered 5-1 by Manchester United in their first fixture of the season before they put up a good fight to hold Everton to a 2-2 draw last weekend and pick up a point. This was followed by a 3-0 win over Crewe Alexandra in the midweek cup encounter, with Marcelo Bielsa’s men now hoping to translate that form into the league competition and grab a win on their trip to Turf Moor.

The corresponding fixture last season, played in May earlier this year, saw Leeds trounce Burnley 4-0 with goals coming from Mateusz Klich, Jack Harrison and Rodrigo Moreno (2). Ahead of their latest meeting in Lancashire this Sunday, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams.

Team News & Tactics

Burnley

Sean Dyche still looking for the first league win of the season (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)

Sean Dyche still looking for the first league win of the season (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

Burnley have been greeted with some good news with regard to their roster ahead of the Leeds United clash as Ashley Westwood, and Matej Vydra are back in training and could be in contention to play some part on Sunday afternoon. However, Dale Stephens and Kevin Long remain unavailable for selection.

Sean Dyche is unlikely to make any drastic changes to the formation or the way his team plays when they come up against Leeds, although there will be some alterations to the team that started in midweek. Wayne Hennessey, in all likelihood, should make way for Nick Pope in goal despite his heroics between the sticks against Newcastle.

Matthew Lowton ought to replace Phil Bardsley at right-back while ex-Leeds United ace Charlie Taylor comes in at left-back. The duo will largely stay compact and look to support the two central defenders in James Tarkowski and Ben Mee, who will have their task cut out against Patrick Bamford.

While Westwood’s potential return is good news, it is unlikely that he will be thrust right back into the thick of things by the Burnley boss, with the midfield partnership of Josh Brownhill and Jack Cork likely to remain intact. The duo will largely play behind the ball and look to stop Leeds’ midfield runners from venturing forward regularly.

New signing Aaron Lennon featured from the start in midweek but is expected to drop out of the side on Sunday. Replacing him will be Icelandic winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson, who, along with Dwight McNeil, will likely act as the likeliest source of chances for the two strikers, who ought to be Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes, swinging in crosses into the box.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Gudmundsson, Brownhill, Cork, McNeil; Wood, Barnes

Leeds United

Leeds United will be without just one player for the trip to Burnley, with Marcelo Bielsa having to make do without Robin Koch, who is ruled out with a hip problem. The manager did not rotate his troops a great deal for the cup tie, but the regulars that did get some rest will all be back when they travel to Turf Moor this weekend.

The Whites will line up in their 4-1-4-1 formation in front of goalkeeper Illan Meslier. Pascal Struijk will hold on to his place at the heart of the Leeds defence with captain Liam Cooper coming in to replace Diego Llorente while Luke Ayling and Junior Firpo slot in as the full-backs.

The latter could venture forward regularly, having shown signs of a budding partnership with Jack Harrison, who will line up on the left flank. On the right side, it will be Raphinha, who will pose a huge threat to the Burnley defence with his pace, ball control and eye for a pass.

Kalvin Phillips, meanwhile, will sit the deepest in the middle of the park, from where he will look to control and dictate play, considering that Leeds are more than likely to dominate possession against Burnley. Stuart Dallas and Mateusz Klich, meanwhile, will take up the two attacking midfield slots and look to make driving forward runs and add bodies in and around the Burnley box.

Patrick Bamford, celebrating a call-up to the England national team, will be the undisputed starter as the lone striker for Leeds, with Rodrigo Moreno providing cover from the bench.

Probable Lineup (4-1-4-1): Meslier; Ayling, Struijk, Cooper, Firpo; Phillips; Raphinha, Klich, Dallas, Harrison; Bamford

Key Stats

  • Burnley have won three of their last four home league games against Leeds United (L1), although that one defeat came in their most recent such fixture.
  • Of the 38 opponents Leeds have faced at least 50 times in English league football, only against Coventry do they have a higher win rate than they do against Burnley (51.7%, 31 wins in 60).
  • Burnley have lost each of their last five Premier League games at Turf Moor. They have scored just 15 league goals at home since the start of the last season (20 games).
  • Since Raphinha made his first Premier League start for Leeds in November last year, no player has made more assists in the competition than the Brazilian (9 – joint-most along with Kevin De Bruyne and Bruno Fernandes).
  • Chris Wood is Burnley’s all-time top scorer in the Premier League with 46 goals. Formerly of Leeds United, the striker has scored just once in eight league appearances against the Whites when he was playing for Millwall back in 2012.

Player to Watch

Patrick Bamford

It has been a memorable week for Patrick Bamford after receiving his maiden call-up to the England national team for the upcoming international fixtures in September. The 27-year-old enjoyed a fine season last time out, finishing with 17 goals and eight assists in 38 league outings and would have counted himself unlucky to miss out on the Euros.

Now that he has broken into Gareth Southgate’s squad, Bamford will be hoping to prepare in the best way possible for a potential England debut by scoring a goal or two against Burnley. The ex-Chelsea ace is yet to open his account for the new season, although he does have two assists in three games in all competitions so far. He will be Leeds’ main attacking threat against the Clarets on Sunday.

Prediction

Burnley 1-2 Leeds United

Burnley have made a poor start to the season and were lucky to get away with a win against Newcastle United in the midweek cup tie. Leeds, meanwhile, looked comfortable in their win over Crewe Alexandra and seem to be finding their groove slowly after the mauling that they received at the hands of Manchester United.

Despite that, the Whites remain suspect defensively, something that Burnley might exploit. However, their attacking intent and drive should be more than enough to get past the Clarets’ backline leading them to their first league win of the new season, with Patrick Bamford likely to be involved in the thick of things.

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