Fulham 1 Leeds United 2 - Reaction and recap as Whites end London hoodoo and Robin Koch returns
LEEDS United will sign off for the March international break with Friday night's clash at Fulham - and we will bring you all the very latest here.
The Whites and Cottagers are locking horns in an 8pm kick-off at Craven Cottage in what is United's final trip to London of the 2020-21 Premier League campaign.
Can Leeds finally end their capital curse against Scott Parker's third-bottom side? Stick with us here for all the pre-match build up, team news, match updates, analysis and reaction throughout the evening.
Fulham 1 Leeds United 2 - reaction and recap
Last updated: Friday, 19 March, 2021, 19:10
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Is tonight the night?
It has to end one day right? So is tonight the night when Leeds United finally end the London curse? Leeds have now gone 16 games without winning in the capital and 14 of those contests have ended in defeat. United’s last 28 visits to the Big Smoke have yielded just one win, six draws and 21 defeats. That sole victory came back in December 2017 when Kemar Roofe bagged a hat-trick in a 3-1 win for Thomas Christiansen’s Whites. Before that, you have to go back to March 2015 for another Leeds victory in the capital, when Mirco Antenucci was on the scoresheet as Neil Redfearn’s side won 3-0 at Fulham. But that’s enough of all that, history, that’s all it is, right? Time then to start a new chapter tonight at third bottom Fulham who are actually marginal favourites to beat the Whites. It remains to be seen if that is the right call in what is United’s final visit to the capital of the 2020-21 campaign. Time to banish the dreaded curse.
Early team news
We won’t really know until we see Leeds arrive at Craven Cottage but Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa said at Wednesday’s pre match press conference that he thought striker Patrick Bamford would be able to play against Fulham. Bamford was forced off injured during the first half of last weekend’s goalless draw at home to Chelsea after jumping for a challenge with Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger. Bielsa said that the striker had suffered a knock on his hip that was painful but that he thought the striker would still be fit to face the Cottagers. If he is, we can probably expect the Whites to be unchanged. Record signing Rodrigo suffered a muscle injury in training on Tuesday so it remains to be seen if he is involved. Liam Cooper remains out through illness and Leif Davis has a minor issue while Pablo Hernandez (muscle) and Adam Forshaw (hip) are United’s other injuries.
Leeds United’s predicted line up:
Leeds ‘underdogs’ at third-bottom Fulham - is 2-1 a good price? Looks big
Scott Parker on Leeds:
And here’s Scott Parker on Patrick Bamford:
Here it is then, the London curse in full that Leeds are looking to banish:
What the YEP Jury are saying....
It will be interesting to see if United’s Polish international midfielder Mateusz Klich comes back into the side tonight having come off the bench for Rodrigo in the second half against Chelsea. Bielsa is clearly very loyal with Klich and a big fan but the Pole has had a hip issue and struggled to hit top form of late. If there is a change, that might well be it, possibly for Gjanni Alioski and with Stuart Dallas to left back but all will be revealed in just over half an hour. If Rodrigo is out then we will also have a change on the bench - room for Joe Gelhardt or Sam Greenwood perhaps?
Team news imminent....
All eyes on the end of the list to see if Bamford is playing
Leeds team: Meslier, Ayling, Llorente, Struijk, Alioski, Phillips, Dallas, Harrison, Raphinha, Roberts, Bamford.
Leeds subs - Gelhardt for Rodrigo
Leeds subs v Fulham: Casilla, Koch, Berardi, Jenkins, Shackleton, Klich, Costa, Poveda, Gelhardt.
Fulham team - no Reid (had a knock)
Good news all round
Apart from Rodrigo being out but that was on the cards after Marcelo Bielsa’s update on him. A chance for Gelhardt also on the bench and a huge boost that Bamford starts upfront. Klich has to make do with a place on the bench. Is this the night? It’s all feeling positive.