Leeds travel to Brentford on Tuesday night in a mouthwatering clash at the top of the Championship
Marcelo Bielsa’s side are beginning their seemingly annual stutter – they’ve lost four of their last five and are now level on points with third-placed Fulham, having been 11 points clear of second as recently as mid-December.
Brentford have consistently been up there this season and are beginning to make a real push. They have the best goal difference in the division and know that a win will see them leapfrog their opponents.
A win for either team could prove crucial come May.
When is Brentford vs Leeds and where can I watch live?
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Venue: Griffin Park
Date: Tuesday, 11 February 2020
Kick-off: 7:45 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): Sky Sports Football (red button)
Last five meetings: Brentford vs Leeds
21 August 2019: Leeds 1-0 Brentford (Championship)
22 April 2019: Brentford 2-0 Leeds (Championship)
6 October 2018: Leeds 1-1 Brentford (Championship)
24 February 2018: Leeds 1-0 Brentford (Championship)
4 November 2017: Brentford 3-1 Leeds (Championship)
Aggregate Score: Brentford (LWDLW) 6-4 Leeds (WLDWL)
Ones to watch
Brentford: Said Benrahma
The Championship has had its fair share of showmen in recent years: Adel Taarabt, Wilfried Zaha, Yannick Bolasie and, more recently, Eberechi Eze. Add Benrahma to that list. His dribbling skills are unrivalled in the division and his end product isn’t bad either – 14 goal contributions in the league this season have helped Brentford in their ascent up the table. Even if the Bees aren’t playing Premier League football next season, this man probably will be.
Key stat: Said Benrahma averages 3.7 shots per game in the Championship – no one averages more.
Leeds: Kalvin Phillips
When times get tough, you need someone to dig in and drag your team to a result, by hook or by crook. Step forward Kalvin Phillips. He was dearly missed in Leeds’ defeat at the City Ground and it’s a massive boost for them that his three-game suspension is over. Influential is an understatement. They need him more than ever right now.
Key stat: The only games Kalvin Phillips has missed this season have been through suspension.
Pontus Jansson could miss the visit of his former club with a hip injury. Sergi Canos and Kamohelo Mokotojo remain long-term absentees.
Manager Thomas Frank may resist the temptation to make changes given that his side performed so well against Middlesbrough. New signings Shandon Baptiste and Tariqe Fosu-Henry are both still waiting for their debuts.
Ollie Watkins will lead the line, having taken his Championship goal tally to 20 at the weekend.
Possible XI: Raya; Dalsgaard, Jeanvier, Pinnock, Henry; Jensen, Norgaard, Dasilva; Mbeumo, Watkins, Benrahma.
Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.
Barry Douglas returned for the Under-23s on Friday and could be in line for a recall, with Bielsa surely pondering changes in an attempt to get his side back on track.
Tyler Roberts is a doubt, Adam Forshaw is out and Phillips is back from suspension, while pressure is mounting on goalkeeper Kiko Casilla. Ezgjan Alioski could drop out – or be moved further forward – while Jean-Kévin Augustin is pushing for a start ahead of Patrick Bamford up front.
Something needs to change – and fast – but confidence is not something that is easily conjured up.
Possible XI: Casilla; Dallas, Ayling, Cooper, Berardi; White, Phillips, Klich; Harrison, Hernandez, Bamford.
This game really could go either way and is a difficult one to call. Leeds are seemingly in freefall but pressure does funny things to teams. Brentford will know just how massive this could be in their promotion push and are likely to go for the jugular.