|Bristol City 0 v 1 Leeds United|
Saturday, 9th March 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Match Preview: Bristol City v Leeds United - Whites face Robins on the road
Friday, 8th Mar 2019 19:24 by @LucasMonk99
Leeds United are hoping to keep pace at the top end of the Championship table with a win away to Bristol City on Saturday afternoon.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side are in fine fettle ahead of this match. A coruscating performance at home to West Bromwich Albion last Friday was the perfect way in which to respond to a dour defeat by Queens Park Rangers just days earlier.
They were simply sensational, with Pablo Hernandez producing a sumptuous strike just seconds into the match to send them on their way. Patrick Bamford (2) and Ezgjan Alioski rounded off the scoring as United romped to victory. The 4-0 scoreline in no way flattered them, and, having won three of their last four matches, they will head to Ashton Gate with ample momentum and confidence.
Opponents Bristol City, on the other hand, have been on a barren run of late. Despite being sixth in the table, they have not won in three matches, having won seven in succession before losing to Norwich and Birmingham. They did manage to avert three losses in a row by salvaging a 1-1 draw away to Preston North End last week, but will have to improve quickly if they are to remain in the play-offs.
Lee Johnson’s men could well have to do without senior goalkeepers Frank Fielding and Niki Maenpaa. Stefan Marinovic or Max O’Leary, both youth ‘keepers, could receive the nod instead.
Leeds will be unchanged from their excellent defeat of West Brom. Winger Jack Clarke has also returned to fitness, but will play no part here, instead featuring for the club’s Under-23 side next week.
Writer’s Prediction: Bristol City 1-2 Leeds United
Despite Bristol City’s recent downturn in form, this match is still poised to pose a stern challenge to Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds.
Leeds defeated the Robins 2-0 in November’s reverse fixture at Elland Road, but a red card to Josh Brownhill aided them in doing so and the visitors had a foothold in the match prior to his dismissal.
The Ashton Gate outfit carry several threats, and namely that of Famara Diedhiou. The hefty Senegalese target-man brings plenty of power and physicality to the City attack and is the club’s top scorer having scored 11 goals this season.
Looking to supply Diedhiou will be wingers Callum O’Dowda and Nicolas Eliasson, who bring pace and tricky to the table.
In the middle of the park, Brownhill and Marlon Pack, both seasoned campaigners at this level, will look to dictate the tempo and get the better of the United midfield.
But United, as the league table attests, have myriad strengths of their own.
Patrick Bamford is hitting form at just the right time and he netted twice in the wonderful win over West Brom. Ezgjan Alioski has been a revelation at left back. Kalvin Phillips is back to his imperious and abrasive best in defensive midfield.
Bielsa and his charges also have the record books on their side.
Since August 2010, Bristol City have lost 10 league matches to Leeds, which is more than they have lost to any other opponent in that time.
Leeds have also lost just once in their last 13 meetings with the Robins, and have won on four of their last six visits to Ashton Gate.
So whilst this still promises to be a tough test for the Whites, there is plenty about which to be sanguine ahead of it.
On current form, they have to be favourites, and I think they’ll live up to that billing.
Photo: Action Images
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