Leeds United v Fulham: Big match preview

Ronaldo Viera in action against Birmingham City. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
Ronaldo Viera in action against Birmingham City. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
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Check out out at a glance guide to Leeds United’s clash with Fulham at Elland Road.

KEY BATTLE

Ronaldo Vieira v Tom Cairney: Cairney always plays well against Leeds and he produced the opening goal in the same fixture last season.

That is reason enough to monitor him carefully but United’s midfield requires close attention after two league games in which the battle in that area was lost. Vieira has been thrown in at the deep end and, assuming Monk keeps faith with him, this will be another big test of the 18-year-old.

FULHAM’S KEY MAN

Matt Smith: Two games in and the former Leeds striker has already equalled his tally of league goals for the 2015-16 campaign.

His header earned a win over Newcastle on the first day of the season and he claimed the crucial effort in a 2-1 win at Preston on Saturday.

His strength and his power in the air could well be a problem for United’s defence and Monk’s backline cannot be as flimsy as they’ve been so far.

LAST TIME

Tuesday, February 23, 2016: Leeds United 1 Fulham 1. Goals: Leeds – Cook 38. Fulham – Cairney 17.

EXPERT VIEW

Phil Hay says: “The irony for Fulham: selling two strikers who scored 36 league goals between them last term but starting this season with back-to-back wins. It’s too early to know what chance Fulham have over the next eight-and-a-half months but suffice to say, they’ve started well. Leeds must find confidence from somewhere and dominate the game from the start, otherwise this could be another pressurised evening.”

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Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy at Elland Road on Saturday. Picture by Simon Hulme

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