Patrick Vieira will be eager to arrest Crystal Palace’s recent slump with a positive result against Leeds United, who are still closer to the relegation zone.

Patrick Vieira will be taking a hard look at his squad before the Leeds United game to understand what is going wrong for Crystal Palace. Despite constant praises received by the Frenchman for the progress achieved, there are growing inconsistencies, which need to be addressed quickly.

Crystal Palace’s ambitions of finishing in the top half of the table have taken a hit in recent weeks, as they find themselves in 14th place, eight points ahead of 18th place Everton. Recent defeats to Leicester City and Newcastle United have dented their hopes, while a loss to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals ended any hopes of a surprise silverware.

Vieira certainly would not want the club to be dragged into the relegation conversation and will be aiming to get a win when his team face off against Leeds United. The magic 40-point mark awaits them if they manage to collect three points on Monday, although this season it may take slightly more than that to secure safety.

Leeds United continue to find themselves closer to the relegation zone despite their recent upturn in results. New manager Jesse Marsch has had a good impact on the team, after a stellar return of three wins and a draw from their last four Premier League games.

With Burnley securing a narrow victory over Wolves, they are now two points behind Leeds United and out of the relegation zone. This puts added pressure on Marsch, making it necessary to collect points from Selhurst Park.

After their visit to London, Leeds United face consecutive games against Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea, which could see them drop massive points. So, Monday’s encounter will be vital for the Whites in the context of ensuring their safety in the Premier League as a dangerous run-in awaits.

Team News & Tactics

Crystal Palace

Patrick Vieira does not have many problems to contend with ahead of the Leeds United clash. The biggest worry would be surrounding Michael Olise, who was forced off in the first half against Newcastle United. However, the young attacker was seen in the latest training pictures, although the manager will be cautious over including him from the start.

Nathan Ferguson remains the only confirmed absentee through injury, while Luka Milivojevic has returned to training after recovering from his thigh issue.

Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen are the obvious choices in central defence, with Nathaniel Clyne and Tyrick Mitchell lining up as the full-backs. A midfield three of Jeffrey Schlupp, Cheikhou Kouyate and Conor Gallagher could hold the key for the Eagles against Leeds United.

Jordan Ayew could be preferred to start on the right-hand side of the attack in place of Olise. Jean-Philippe Mateta is likely to replace Odsonne Edouard as Palace’s main striker while Wilfried Zaha is the obvious choice on the left.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Guaita; Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Gallagher, Kouyate, Schlupp; Ayew, Mateta, Zaha

Leeds United

Jesse Marsch will have to make do without Adam Forshaw, who suffered a fractured knee cap in training. The midfielder will be out for a significant period. Patrick Bamford’s recovery is going well and will be available to train from next week, but the striker is out of contention for Monday.

Tyler Roberts is the third confirmed absentee, while Junior Firpo and Jamie Shackleton could be back in contention for the clash. There is a slight chance the duo could be involved against Palace, although Marsch is unlikely to risk them on Monday.

The Leeds United manager will field his strongest available lineup and look to keep the 4-2-3-1 shape, which has been effective recently. Luke Ayling will continue to feature at right-back with Stuart Dallas the preferred option on the left. Diego Llorente and Liam Cooper will keep the central defensive positions.

Kalvin Phillips’ return has provided Marsch with some much-needed stability, as the England international will partner Mateusz Klich in central midfield. Jack Harrison, Rodrigo and Raphinha will take their places just behind Daniel James, who will continue to lead the line for Leeds.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Meslier; Ayling, Llorente, Cooper, Dallas; Phillips, Klich; Raphinha, Rodrigo, Harrison; James

Key Stats

  • Crystal Palace are unbeaten in their last five home games against Leeds United in the Premier League.
  • Crystal Palace have lost their last three games in all competitions.
  • Crystal Palace have won three of their previous four games at Selhurst Park in all competitions
  • Crystal Palace have kept a clean sheet in each of their last three games at Selhurst Park.
  • Leeds United are unbeaten in four Premier League games, winning three in that period.

Player To Watch

Raphinha

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The Brazilian winger has found form in recent weeks, and it is not a coincidence that Leeds United did well during that period. The Whites come into this clash as the in-form side, and Raphinha will be the key to getting a result in London.

Leeds are far from secure with their Premier League status and with games against Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea to come after Monday, players like Raphinha need to ensure the team enter the tough period with three points against Crystal Palace.

Prediction

Crystal Palace 1-2 Leeds United

On paper, Patrick Vieira’s side may have the edge over their visitors, but Leeds are the in-form team coming into this fixture. While the Frenchman has maintained a consistency in style and progression at Crystal Palace, the former RB Leipzig boss has reinvigorated a flailing Leeds side, who are fighting a battle for their survival in the Premier League.

Palace may have a favourable home record coming into this clash, but Leeds have momentum on their side. And this could have a bearing on the outcome on Monday. Expect Leeds to nick three points from under Crystal Palace’s noses and keep their fight to stay put in the Premier League alive.

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