Leeds will host Liverpool at Elland Road on Sunday, September 12, in the fourth round of the 2021/22 Premier League, as they look to secure their first three points of the season. Liverpool will visit Elland Road for the first time since April when they played an unfortunate 1-1 draw; however, having yet to taste defeat this term, the Reds should feel confident about their chances.
Leeds vs Liverpool
When: Sunday, September 12 – 16:30 GMT
Where: Elland Road in Leeds, England
Weather: Cloudy, 17°C
Referee: Craig Pawson (ENG)
Last season, Leeds lost one game to Liverpool, while the other one finished in a draw. The loss happened at Anfield, where the Reds got a 4-3 win, thanks to Mohamed Salah’s penalty in the 88th minute. The draw happened last April at Elland Road, where both teams scored a goal each.
Can Leeds pull off something similar again?
Key Players Returning for Leeds
In his pre-match interview, Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa confirmed that Stuart Dallas, Junior Firpo, and Mateusz Klich are all available. The only notable absence is Robin Koch, who remains on the injury list.
The Whites deadline signing Daniel James is also available, having arrived from Manchester United, while Raphinha is good to go after FIFA overturned the ban on Brazilian players.
Another thing going in Leeds’ favour is that the game will be played on their home turf, where they’re going to have a lot of support from the stands. With the help of their fans, this team seems always to do well. In fact, since the fans returned to the Premier League stadiums in May, Leeds haven’t lost a home game.
Leeds’ unbeaten home run stretches back to February when they lost against Aston Villa (0-1). Since then, Bielsa’s men produced a 3-5-0 home record, with wins against Sheffield Utd (2-1), Tottenham (3-1), and West Brom (3-1), and draws against Chelsea (0-0), Liverpool (1-1), Manchester United (0-0), and most recently a 2-2 draw with Everton.
The Whites have done extremely well at home, and while they haven’t secured as many victories, they have managed to keep some of EPL’s top dogs at a draw, which is nothing to sneeze at.
Firmino Still Out, Van Dijk Cleared to Play
The biggest worry for Liverpool fans last week was the fitness level of their best defender, Virgil van Dijk. The 30-year-old picked up a minor injury during his international duty with the Netherlands but has since been cleared to play.
Another player who’s returning after some fitness concerns is Harvey Elliott. He will likely get a place in the starting XI, in the centre of the pitch, alongside Jordan Henderson and Fabinho.
Speaking of Fabinho, the Brazilian player is available for this game, and so is Alisson Becker. The two were previously suspended due to the COVID ban, but then FIFA decided to overturn it.
As a result, Jurgen Klopp will have almost all of his key men at his disposal. The biggest concern is Roberto Firmino, who’s still struggling with an injury. Instead of Firmino, we could see Diego Jota leading Liverpool’s attack, alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
Leeds vs Liverpool Betting Pick
There’s no doubt that Liverpool is a better team, but if there’s a team that could cause them problems and is known as a team that knows how to give the Reds a hard time, it’s Leeds.
With their fans’ support, Leeds has been playing exceptionally well of late and look more than capable of grabbing at least a point this afternoon. Across their last three meetings with Liverpool at Elland Road, the Whites managed two draws (2-2, 1-1) and one loss (0-1), the latter of which happened in the 1/16 finals of the EFL Cup in September 2009.
Leeds’ only two meetings with Liverpool of this decade ended with 3-4 and 1-1.
Prediction: Leeds +1.00 Asian Handicap – 1.83 at Sportmarket