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Match Preview: Leeds United v. Bournemouth - Whites seek back-to-back wins
Saturday, 5th Nov 2022 06:36 by Lumo Michalik

Leeds host Bournemouth this afternoon (15:00pm) in a critical match.

Football is a funny game. Few expected Leeds United to end their long winless run at Anfield but they did. Crysencio Summerville’s late winner gave United a famous win and a beleaguered Jesse Marsch a reprieve.

Whether Summerville postponed the inevitable or not depends on this fixture. That fallow spell saw Marsch come under fire for his tactics and team selections. A dismal home defeat to newly-promoted Fulham prompted booming calls for his head. You feel he needs a win here despite last Saturday’s sensational result. Leeds can seldom afford to go back to square one.

The visit of another newly-promoted side in Bournemouth presents Leeds with a golden opportunity to move up the table. A win could see them rise as high as 11th. It would be a great boon for a team that has struggled for form and consistency for much of the season and has much harder fixtures to come.

Bournemouth have competed well since August’s surprise sacking of Scott Parker. Interim manager Gary O’Neil has put the defensive side of the game first since taking the reins and his pragmatic approach appears to be paying off. The Cherries sit 14th, one place above Leeds in the table. Recent results have been poor, though. They’ve lost their last three matches and they failed to score in two of them. The squad appears to be one lacking in quality and Bill Foley’s impending takeover of the club should see significant investment in January.

Leeds will fancy their chances against a side many have tipped for a swift return to the Championship. Bournemouth will nonetheless pose a threat. In Kieffer Moore and Philip Billing they have two powerful and physically-imposing players who can make nuisances of themselves. United fans are no strangers to Lewis Cook’s ability either. O’Neil will likely set his team up to play on the periphery and frustrate the hosts. Expect direct play, plenty of timewasting and wide counter-attacks.

Marsch will have to take some tough decisions regards team selection. Patrick Bamford’s goal drought is a concern. He is still the only out-and-out centre-forward in the Leeds ranks and offers far more in general play than the all too often anonymous Rodrigo. He came on as a substitute last week but it’s unclear if he’ll get a starting berth for this must-win match. Marsch also has a call to make on Jack Harrison. The winger has been off-colour of late and against Liverpool Leeds looked all the better for having replaced him with the young Italian livewire Wilfried Gnonto.

Team News:

Leeds will be without Luis Sinisterra until after the World Cup. The Colombian sustained a foot ligament injury in the match against Fulham. Stuart Dallas and Adam Forshaw also remain sidelined with injuries. Crysencio Summerville should start after his match-winning performance at Anfield.

Bournemouth have injury worries too. First-choice goalkeeper Neto will be out for a number of weeks with a hamstring problem. They’ll also be without talented midfielder David Brooks and club captain Lloyd Kelly.


Leeds: LLLLW

Leeds’ first victory at Anfield since 2001 was also their first league win since August. A run of straight defeats to Crystal Palace, Arsenal, Leicester City and Fulham had left them in the relegation zone ahead of the clash with the Reds. Leeds will be hoping to build on last Saturday’s excellent result and secure back-to-back league wins for the first time since March.

Bournemouth: WDLLL

Bournemouth have lost their last three games. Prior to this they had gone six unbeaten following the 9-0 shellacking at Anfield and the sacking of Scott Parker. The Cherries have conceded more goals than other team in the Premier League this season; 20 of these they’ve shipped on the road.

Prediction: Leeds United 2-0 Bournemouth

Leeds will be on a high after last week’s exhilarating and much-needed win. They’ll doubtless have chances against the division’s leakiest rearguard. It will be a matter of taking them and being wary of Bournemouth’s counter-attacking threat.

Photo: Action Images

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