20/21 Premier League Preview | Leeds Utd | Anfield

20/21 Premier League Preview | Leeds Utd | Anfield
September 10, 2020 Gary Fulcher

 

This article is part of The Tomkins Times Free Fortnight, where for two weeks up until the start of the new season, all articles are free to all to read- there is a full explanation here.

Liverpool begin their title defence with the visit of an old rival to Anfield on Saturday – 5.30pm kick off UK time – with Leeds Utd returning to the top flight for the first time since the 2003/04 season.

Led by the highly regarded and bucket-sitting Marcelo Bielsa, the Whites are back amongst the big boys and will be hoping to follow the example of Sheffield Utd rather than Norwich City and maintain their status in the top flight beyond this season.

Leeds’ fall from grace was epic – with the club falling as low as League One between 2007 and 2010 – and they are a prime example to all clubs who spend far beyond their means in an attempt to gain the riches of Champions League football. A lesson some clubs should be reminded of – as well as supporters clamouring for big money signings – given the current financial climate that most football clubs have to operate in.

It will be fascinating to see how the 65 year old Bielsa – nicknamed El Loco – operates in the Premier League, pitting his wits against the likes of Klopp, Guardiola, Ancelotti and Sean Dyche, with the likes of Guardiola, Klopp, Simeone and Pochettino amongst many others, who name Bielsa as one of the most influential and outstanding coaches in football.

The Argentinian is also not short of controversies, with last season’s ‘spygate and Bielsa’s response’ a most recent example of what we can potentially look forward to this season.

Leeds have spent £61.78m on new additions to their Championship winning squad, with Rodrigo joining from Valencia for £27m and Helder Costa joining from Wolves for £15.93m, taking up a large portion of that sum.

Leeds Utd’s summer transfers:

Player Age. Club and Fee
Centre-Forward
29
£27m
Right Winger
26
£15.93m
Centre-Back
24
£11.7m
Goalkeeper
20
£5.85m
Centre-Forward
18
£900k
Right-Back
18
£396k
Left Winger
23
Loan

Liverpool last welcomed Leeds to Anfield on October 25 2003, with the Reds winning 3-1 with goals from Owen, Murphy and Sinama-Pongolle. That Leeds side featured future a 17 year old James Milner, another future Red Jermaine Pennant and former Reds Nick Barmby and  Dominic Matteo.

Managed by Peter Reid, that Leeds side also featured the likes of Mark Viduka (he who scored four times in a 3-4 defeat at Elland Road in 2000), Alan Smith, David Batty and Gary Kelly, with the other big name players already sold off in an attempt to pay off rising debts. From reaching the Champions League semi-finals in 2000/01 and finishing 5th in 2001/02, their 14 seasons in the top flight came to an end in 2003/04, finishing in 19th place with 33 points.

Liverpool’s league record v Leeds Utd:

Overall Home Away
Played: 100 Played: 50 Played: 50
Won: 51 Won: 32 Won: 19
Drawn: 25 Drawn: 11 Drawn: 14
Lost: 24 Lost: 7 Lost: 17
Scored: 164 Scored: 95 Scored: 69
Conceded: 101 Conceded: 34 Conceded: 67

Liverpool have gone three consecutive league seasons unbeaten at Anfield and are 59 games without defeat since losing to Crystal Palace on April 23 2017. The club record is 63 games without defeat at Anfield, so the Reds would need to avoid defeats against Leeds, Arsenal, Sheffield Utd, West Ham and Leicester to break the record set under Bob Paisley, achieved between 1978 and 1981.

The overall record is held by Chelsea who went 86 home league games without defeat between 2004 and 2008, a run ended by Liverpool.

Match Officials:

Referee: Michael Oliver.

Assistants: Stuart Burt, Simon Bennett.

Fourth official: Mike Dean.

VAR: Paul Tierney.

Assistant VAR: Andy Halliday.

Squads:

The words "Liverpool Football Club" are in the centre of a pennant, with flames either side. The words "You'll Never Walk Alone" adorn the top of the emblem in a green design, "EST 1892" is at the bottom

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Brazil BRA Alisson
3 MF Brazil BRA Fabinho
4 DF Netherlands NED Virgil van Dijk (third captain)
5 MF Netherlands NED Georginio Wijnaldum (fourth captain)
7 MF England ENG James Milner (vice-captain)
8 MF Guinea GUI Naby Keïta
9 FW Brazil BRA Roberto Firmino
10 FW Senegal SEN Sadio Mané
11 FW Egypt EGY Mohamed Salah
12 DF England ENG Joe Gomez
13 GK Spain ESP Adrián
14 MF England ENG Jordan Henderson (captain)
15 MF England ENG Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
16 MF Serbia SRB Marko Grujić
17 MF England ENG Curtis Jones
18 FW Japan JPN Takumi Minamino
21 DF Greece GRE Kostas Tsimikas
 
No. Pos. Nation Player
22 GK Germany GER Loris Karius
23 MF Switzerland  SUI Xherdan Shaqiri
24 FW England ENG Rhian Brewster
26 DF Scotland SCO Andrew Robertson
27 FW Belgium BEL Divock Origi
32 DF Cameroon CMR Joël Matip
47 DF England ENG Nathaniel Phillips
51 DF Netherlands NED Ki-Jana Hoever
58 MF Wales WAL Ben Woodburn
59 MF Wales WAL Harry Wilson
62 GK Republic of Ireland IRL Caoimhín Kelleher
66 DF England ENG Trent Alexander-Arnold
67 MF England ENG Harvey Elliott
72 DF Netherlands NED Sepp van den Berg
73 GK Poland POL Kamil Grabara
76 DF Wales WAL Neco Williams
FW Nigeria NGA Taiwo Awoniyi

Liverpool players unavailable or doubtful:

Player Reason Further Detail Potential Return Condition Status
Jordan Henderson Knee Injury Sept 05: “Timing-wise, not perfect that he cannot play today, but that’s how it is. We will see how he develops, [there are] a few days until Leeds.” 12/09/2020 None 50%
Konstantinos Tsimikas Other  (Covid-19) No Return Date Currently Being Assessed Ruled Out
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Knee Injury Aug 21: “It looks like it is very similar to what Hendo had, which keeps him out for we don’t know for sure exactly how long, but for sure this pre-season he will not make a game.” No Return Date Currently Being Assessed Ruled Out
Xherdan Shaqiri Other Muscular Injury No Return Date None Ruled Out

emblem

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK France FRA Illan Meslier
2 DF England ENG Luke Ayling (vice-captain)
3 DF Scotland SCO Barry Douglas
4 MF England ENG Adam Forshaw
6 DF Scotland SCO Liam Cooper (captain)
7 MF England ENG Ian Poveda
9 FW England ENG Patrick Bamford
10 DF North Macedonia MKD Ezgjan Alioski
11 FW Wales WAL Tyler Roberts
13 GK Spain ESP Kiko Casilla
15 DF Northern Ireland NIR Stuart Dallas
17 MF Portugal POR Hélder Costa
19 MF Spain ESP Pablo Hernández
21 DF Netherlands NED Pascal Struijk
 
No. Pos. Nation Player
22 MF England ENG Jack Harrison (on loan from Man City)
23 MF England ENG Kalvin Phillips
24 DF England ENG Leif Davis
25 GK Italy ITA Elia Caprile
30 FW England ENG Joe Gelhardt
36 MF England ENG Robbie Gotts
43 MF Poland POL Mateusz Klich
44 MF Poland POL Mateusz Bogusz
46 MF England ENG Jamie Shackleton
48 MF England ENG Jordan Stevens
49 DF England ENG Oliver Casey
DF Germany GER Robin Koch
FW Spain ESP Rodrigo

Leeds players unavailable or doubtful:

Player Reason Further Detail Potential Return Condition Status
Kalvin Phillips Knee Injury Aug 06: “I’ve started working on the physio for my knee. It’s all looking good, and I’m probably a couple of weeks ahead of schedule.” 12/09/2020 None 50%
Gaetano Berardi Knee Injury Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury – ACL Injury No Return Date None Ruled Out

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