Marcelo Bielsa and Patrick Vieira will be hoping for a reaction from their respective teams after disappointing results at the weekend.
Leeds United escaped with a point from the Amex Stadium as a relentless Brighton could not find a way past them. The draw stretches the Whites’ winless streak to three games and ensures Marcelo Bielsa’s men are the closest to the relegation zone, with only three points separating them from 18th-placed Burnley.
Leeds desperately need an upturn in form or are in real danger of entering a relegation fight with Burnley and Norwich City. Then again, the Clarets saw their game against Tottenham get postponed, and if they were to win the next one, it could put Leeds in a dire situation.
They face Crystal Palace in a bid to improve their fortunes on the pitch. Bielsa might have had some positive things to take from the previous game. Moreover, their eventful draws at home against Leicester City and Wolves might give them some confidence against a Crystal Palace side keen on regaining momentum.
Patrick Vieira’s side lost some of the steam that they had built up when they were beaten comfortably by Aston Villa at Selhurst Park. That result ended their seven-game unbeaten run in the Premier League, leading to a drop in their position in the table. Another disappointing outcome could put them in a tricky position, as it will then make a real effort to climb out of the mid-table rumble.
Their previous visit to Elland Road ended in a 2-0 defeat, which Vieira will hope to avoid this time around. The more vital aspect is to stitch together a few wins, as Palace only managed two in that seven-game unbeaten run. For a team rising from the routine of spending time in the bottom half, Palace have shown plenty of ambition and quality to compete with the top sides this term, and the manager will be hoping his team show just that against Leeds.
Team News & Tactics
Bielsa has no reprise when it comes to injury troubles. Patrick Bamford, Luke Ayling and Robin Koch are still very much in the treatment room. Ayling might make a comeback this week with the U-23s, although he remains some time away from returning to first-team action.
Kalvin Phillips and Junior Firpo were taken off at halftime against Brighton, but are expected to be available for selection. Firpo, in particular, has had a tough few games, and might sit this one out. So, Jamie Shackleton could come in at right-back in place of Firpo. Pascal Struijk should start the game in central defence alongside Liam Cooper, with Stuart Dallas preferred at left-back.
Kalvin Phillips should slot in his customary midfield role, with Bielsa probably opting for a five-man unit. Mateusz Klich and Adam Forshaw should be able to play either side of the England international.
Bielsa might consider making a few changes to his attacking lineup as Daniel James and Rodrigo are likely to start from the bench. Jack Harrison and Raphinha could start in wide roles, with Tyler Roberts the probable choice to lead the line.
Probable Lineup (4-5-1): Meslier; Shackleton, Struijk, Cooper, Dallas; Raphinha, Klich, Phillips, Foreshaw, Harrison; Roberts
Vieira will be looking to make minimal changes to the team that lost to Aston Villa. James Tomkins should continue in central defence as Joachim Andersen remains out with the hamstring problem he suffered before the last game. James McArthur remains on the treatment table.
After a prolonged period on the sidelines, Nathan Ferguson is stepping up his return although he will miss the trip to Leeds. However, Eberechi Eze made his long-awaited comeback from the bench against Villa and should be pushing for a starting role in midweek to provide Vieira with a different option from midfield.
The French coach might be tempted to start Eze in place of Luka Milivojevic. Cheikhou Kouyate and Connor Gallagher should complete the midfield unit for the Eagles.
Odsonne Edouard is also competing for a starting berth and could come into the side in place of Michael Olise, who had a difficult game against Villa. The Frenchman should slot in on the left, with Wilfried Zaha then coming on to the right side of the attack and Christian Benteke the preferred choice to lead the line.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Guaita; Ward, Tomkins, Guehi, Mitchell; Gallagher, Kouyate, Eze; Zaha, Benteke, Edouard
- Leeds have won their last six games against Crystal Palace in all competitions.
- Leeds have scored at least two goals in their last six home games against Crystal Palace in all competitions.
- Leeds are winless in their last three Premier League games.
- Crystal Palace have conceded at least two goals in seven of their last eight away games in the Premier League.
- Crystal Palace have scored at least two goals in their last three away matches.
Player To Watch
In a campaign that has been mired with difficulties for Leeds United, Raphinha has continued to emerge as a positive influence on the pitch. The winger has been in impressive form for club and country this term, drawing praise from several quarters while also putting himself on the radars of several top clubs in England and Europe.
The 24-year-old has scored five goals in 11 Premier League matches this term, including two in his last three appearances. With the team not going through the best phase, it will once again be up to him to rise to the occasion and help Leeds emerge out of their rut and pull away from the relegation zone.
Leeds United 1-2 Crystal Palace
Vieira had a small bump on the road against a Villa side that was invigorated by the arrival of a new manager. The Frenchman will look to rectify the error and get back to collecting points against Leeds in midweek. Palace certainly have the quality to get a win at Elland Road with Zaha & co. raring to fight back.
Meanwhile, Leeds have been toothless in the final third, and with injury problems persisting, there is no improvement in sight. Bielsa’s side are good at controlling games in phases and then losing it altogether to give the opponents the upper hand. Something similar might be on the cards on Tuesday, as Palace are expected to collect three points away from home and pile more pressure on the hosts.