Saturday lunchtime’s Premier League match-up sees relegation-bound Leeds welcome high-flyers Newcastle to Elland Road.
Sam Allardyce was unable to get what would have been an almighty result away to Manchester City in his maiden fixture as Leeds boss. Although, it was perhaps a more defensively sound display, especially compared to recent weeks, so the Whites should expect that trend to continue.
Still, Big Sam will be searching for the club’s first triumph in six games. Leeds have registered just one point over that period too and are looking likely to go down, with their last victory coming in a 2-1 win at home to Nottingham Forest towards the beginning of April. Jack Harrison will continue to be the key man and has contributed to 11 Premier League goals so far this season.
They face yet another tricky opponent on Saturday in the form of Newcastle who have scored 2.6 goals per game over their last five. The Magpies haven’t secured their spot in the Champions League quite yet with Liverpool hunting both them and Manchester United down. Three points at the weekend would go a long way towards that, though, and the expectation is that Eddie Howe will be able to finish off the job.
Newcastle have been brilliant all term and have gone for a more offensive-minded approach of late which has seen them win all but two of their last ten. However, that does include a 2-0 loss at home to Arsenal last Sunday in what was an enthralling affair at St. James’ Park. Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak have shone up top for the Magpies all season but Howe will need to get the balance of his side right, with it perhaps not being the best approach to shoe horn both forwards into his starting eleven.
The last three encounters have been low scoring between the two sides and have failed to yield more than two goals - the reverse fixture on the final day of 2022 ended in a 0-0 draw. Newcastle edged a 1-0 win in this fixture last term but they suffered a 5-2 defeat in the away match prior back in 2020. The Whites faithful will be dreaming of being able to emulate that performance but a lot has changed since then for both teams.
Captain Liam Cooper, Tyler Adams, Luis Sinisterra and Stuart Dallas have all been ruled out for the clash. However, Cooper is expected to return next week against West Ham which will provide a big boost. Adams is not likely to return until next season, nonetheless.
As for the visitors, they will be without Sean Longstaff, as well as Jamaal Lascelles and Emil Krafth who have been ruled out for the remainder of the campaign. Allan Saint-Maximin made his comeback from injury against Arsenal so he will be pushing for a start in this one. Joelinton will be ready to go too after dealing with a minor ankle injury.
You can witness the Premier League action live on BT Sport 1 and via the BT Sport app.
Expert Insight: Big Sam will have his side well drilled on Saturday and Leeds will be fighting for every ball as they aim to escape the drop. However, Newcastle will be looking for a quick response after their loss last week and their vast array of talent up top should be too much for the hosts.