Leeds remain in precarious territory in the post-Marcelo Bielsa era, but his successor Jesse Marsch was able to break his Elland Road duck last time out in a relegation six-pointer against Norwich. Attention now swiftly turns to a Wolves side fighting to break the glass ceiling and push for the Premier League top six.
As it stands Leeds are currently in 16th, but the West Yorkshire club are tentatively looking down rather than up, with 18th-placed Watford only four points behind them, having played the exact number of games. As such, they cannot afford to see further points fall by the wayside or the chasing pack could close the gap.
It’s possibly not the predicament Marsch envisaged at this stage of 2021/22 when he took the reins at RB Leipzig in the summer, a relegation battle in the English top flight, but the American coach has taken on the challenge, and he was able to secure his first win last time out against Norwich, securing a 2-1 triumph.
The hosts meanwhile are looking to close the gap on West Ham, who currently occupy sixth, which should be enough for a European place next season. Bruno Lage’s men are two points below the Hammers and enter this showdown off the back of successive victories and clean sheets in the Premier League.
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Wolves vs Leeds: Match Stats
For Wolves, their biggest strength is in the defensive area. Lage’s men have kept a highly-impressive 11 clean sheets in the Premier League this season, with only the current top four (Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal) keeping more shutouts in the competition across 2021/22.
Leeds may struggle to break down Wolves’ watertight defence, but it won’t be for the want of effort and tenacity. In Stuart Dallas, Leeds have the Premier League’s fifth-most prolific tackler (74), so expect the Northern Irishman to be getting stuck in and putting his body on the line at Molineux on Friday.
The reverse fixture actually saw the spoils shared back in October. Wolves looked destined to secure all three points after Hwang Hee-chan broke the deadlock 10 minutes into the match, but a 94th minute Rodrigo penalty lifted the roof at Elland Road, and that point could prove crucial come the end of the season.