Leeds United and Aston Villa, once two of the most feared sides in English football once upon a time, will lock horns with each other for the first time since 2004. Back then, both were in the Premier League. Leeds United have been struggling in the Championship for quite some time now while Aston Villa are in the Championship this season only after getting relegated from the Premier League last time out, pretty meekly. Both sides look to be in contention for promotion this time out and this game at Elland Road, therefore, will be a big one.
Leeds are sitting fifth with 29 points and it seems like they have a decent chance of earning promotion finally this season. They will need to bounce back after a mid-week defeat to Liverpool in the EFL Cup, though, which will have had a big impact on squad morale.
Villa, on the other hand, have turned a corner following the appointment of Steve Bruce and are currently unbeaten in their last seven games under their new boss.
Neither of the two sides started the season well but have been impressive of late.
Leeds United do not have too many injury concerns ahead of the game. Pontus Jansson missed the Rotherham game last week with suspension and did not travel to Liverpool with illness. The Swede is likely to return to the matchday squad against Aston Villa. Pablo Hernandez, Lewie Coyle, Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Liam Bridcutt are missing through injuries.
Nathan Baker and Micah Richards is doubtful with minor knocks. Jed Steer and Ritchie De Laet are both long-term absentees with injuries.
Leeds United (4-2-3-1): Green; Ayling, Bartley, Jansson, Taylor; O’Kane, Phillips; Doukara, Vieira, Roofe; Wood
Aston Villa (4-2-3-1): Gollini; Hutton, Chester, Elphick, Amavi; Jedinak, Westwood; Adomah, Grealish, Ayew; Kodija
Leeds United- Bartley and Jansson
Swansea City loanee Kyle Bartley and Pontus Jansson have created a strong partnership in defence and not many teams could find their way past it. Aston Villa will find it really hard to find their way past the Leeds defence.
Aston Villa- Kodija and Jedinak
Kodija has impressed big time for Aston Villa of late having scored six goals in the last eight games. The Ivorian will be the biggest threat to Leeds defence on Saturday. Jedinak, on the other hand, will be responsible for keeping the Leeds attack at bay. His marking and defensive cover will have to be top-notch.
Leeds United win – 13/8
Draw – 23/10
Aston Villa win – 2/1
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