Preview: Leeds United vs. Southampton

Two teams separated by just two points in the Premier League table prepare to do battle at Elland Road on Tuesday evening as Leeds United play host to Southampton in their rescheduled fixture.

The Whites suffered a 1-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers in cruel fashion last time out, while Southampton managed to halt their losing run with a 1-1 draw against Chelsea.
Illan Meslier has had a week to forget in the Leeds goal. The young Frenchman shipped four at Arsenal – with one coming from the penalty spot after his calamitous error and foul on Bukayo Saka – but there was simply nothing he could do about Wolves’ winner on Friday night.

Adama Traore finished off one of his trademark powerful runs with a thunderous effort which cannoned back off the crossbar, and the ball then proceeded to bounce off the back of a hapless Meslier into the Whites’ net, and there were no more goals to be had at Molineux as Leeds lost for the third time in four matches.

The Whites’ unpredictability and commitment to attacking makes for truly entertaining spectacles most weekends, but Marcelo Bielsa has now witnessed his side win three and lose six of their last nine in all competitions, and they have not shared the spoils in a game since their goalless stalemate with Arsenal back in November.

Leeds will welcome a return to the Elland Road turf – where they beat Crystal Palace 2-0 earlier this month – after two dismal away outings in the past week, although they can only boast a trio of victories from their last 10 outings on familiar territory, and only West Bromwich Albion (55) have let in more goals than Leeds’ ravaged defence (43) at the time of writing.

Sixteen of the Whites’ 40 strikes at the correct end of the pitch have come at their own ground, and while the hosts have Patrick Bamford hoping to rediscover his goalscoring touch, Southampton have their own prolific English striker aiming to take advantage of Leeds’ vulnerability at the back.
Danny Ings is so often a threat in the opposition penalty area, but it was in his own box where the Southampton forward made a costly error against Chelsea at the weekend, as his poorly timed challenge on Mason Mount allowed his compatriot to salvage a draw for his team at St Mary’s.

Takumi Minamino was the coolest man in the stadium when he put Southampton ahead in the first half, and while Ralph Hasenhuttl was pleased to see his side’s five-game losing run come to an end, he will no doubt feel that all three points were there for the taking.
However, a point against a Champions League-chasing team gives Southampton something to build on over the coming weeks, and while any hopes of a shot at a European place have been extinguished, the Saints will hope to reignite their charge for a top-half finish against Leeds.

Hasenhuttl’s men did win their last away match – a 2-0 triumph over Wolves in the FA Cup – but in the Premier League, their last victory on the road came against Brighton & Hove Albion in December, and they are currently on a three-game losing streak on unfamiliar territory in the top flight.

Tuesday’s hosts Leeds (27) are the only side to have conceded more on the road than Southampton (24), although their 9-0 humiliation at Manchester United did not help matters in that regard, and the visitors’ only Premier League win at Elland Road to date came in the 1997-98 campaign.

Leeds United Premier League form: WWLWLL

Southampton Premier League form: LLLLLD
Southampton form (all competitions): LLLWLD

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