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Match Preview: Leeds United vs Fulham - Danger! Danger! High sackage?
Saturday, 22nd Oct 2022 15:58 by Lumo Michalik

To call this game a banana skin would be to make the understatement of the century.

Fulham come to Elland Road tomorrow. In midweek they beat Aston Villa 3-0. The beating the Cottagers doled out was so bad, so bruising, that Villa wasted no time in hurling Steve Gerrard onto the managerial scrap heap. Are you worried? Jesse Marsch should be.

The American heads into this game on a long winless run stretching back to August when Boris Johnson was still prime minister and the Queen alive. He and Leeds had the chance to end it on Thursday but they slumped to defeat against lowly Leicester City. Marsch came under fire from an away end that foamed with vitriol. These sorts of things tend to happen when your response to going behind is to drag off two of your best players.

It’s clear that the experiment has failed. Once you lose the fans it becomes a matter of time. Leeds risked all but everything on Marsch being a success and spent millions on the jigsaw pieces he pointed them towards and the word is that he has the board’s full support. It’s hard to see, though, how he’d survive if Fulham were to walk away with a point or three. That’s testament to how bad it’s been and to the fact that so many fans have had enough.

Marsch could of course pull off a clear win. That would go some way to relieving the pressure on him. How likely an outcome that is is up for debate. Fulham have exceeded expectations so far this season and are already six points above the relegation zone. Aleksandar Mitrovic has built on his lethal Championship form and scored eight goals in 10 games and he’ll be a real handful for a brittle United defence.

If you ask me, our best bet would be to infuse Patrick Bamford with the DNA of Simo Häyhä. Under Marsch scoring goals has been a struggle for Leeds. In nine of the American’s 23 matches (39%) in charge they’ve failed to find the net. His survival will be contingent on addressing this. Acquiring Häyhä’s DNA might be a tough ask but Marsch could try such simple things as playing wingers as wingers and doing away with the dogmatic insistence on narrowness in the attack.

Team News:


Pascal Struijk missed the Leicester match through injury but is in contention for a start here. Jack Harrison could return to the starting lineup after Marsch dropped him on Thursday night for Crysencio Summerville. Wilfried Gnonto should make the bench.


Right-back Kenny Tete will undergo a fitness test and could return to the side. Nathaniel Chalobah is available having returned from a suspension. Dan James is ineligible to face his parent club.


Leeds: LDLLL

United have lost their last three games and are on a barren run of seven without a victory. They’ve also scored just one goal in their last four.

Fulham: WLLDW

Fulham were excellent in their midweek victory over Aston Villa and deserved to win 3-0. Prior to that they twice roared back at Craven Cottage in a 2-2 draw against Bournemouth. Goals are no problem for the Cottagers and they’ve scored in all of their last five.

Prediction: Leeds United 1-2 Fulham

Everything points to an away win. Leeds produced a terrific display against Arsenal in their last home game but for the most part they’ve been awful since Jesse Marsch took over from Marcelo Bielsa. The American seems short of ideas and even his radiant positivity has faded after a shocking run of results. Fulham are on a high after a superb result in midweek and will fancy their chances against his bedraggled and beleaguered team.

Photo: Action Images

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