Leeds United’s performance in the Premier League this season has been highly unpredictable, reaching its climax in recent weeks with each of their last seven matches producing a different result than the preceding one (W2, D1, L3).
However, Javi Gracia’s team hit a new low in their last game, suffering a crushing 5-1 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace, making it their heaviest loss of the season.
This defeat has now placed Leeds firmly in danger of relegation, with their main concern being their inability to keep clean sheets, having managed only five in their last 41 games.
As a result, their attack is under tremendous pressure, though they managed to outscore Liverpool in their famous 2-1 victory at Anfield back in October, which could inspire another upset and their first league double over the Reds since the 2000/01 campaign.
Liverpool is undefeated in their last seven visits to Elland Road, with five wins and two draws since their defeat in November 2000, which could be the only silver lining for them.
While their fighting spirit was on display in their recent come-from-behind 2-2 draw with league leaders Arsenal, they have not won in their last five games (D2, L3), the longest winless streak since Jürgen Klopp took over as manager.
The Reds’ chances of finishing in the top four are all but over, and another disappointing performance on the road could bury those hopes for good.
However, with only three away victories in the league this season (D4, L8), and scoring fewer than one goal per game away from home for the first time in their PL history, Liverpool fans may not have high expectations despite their decent record at Elland Road.
Key battle: Patrick Bamford provided the winning assist in the previous fixture, but he will be eager to score himself, having scored his last four goals at home.
Liverpool’s star center-back Virgil van Dijk will not only aim to neutralize Bamford but may also venture forward, having scored two goals and provided one assist in his previous three wins against Leeds.
Hot stat: Only two of Liverpool’s last ten away matches have seen both teams score on the day.