Fulham v Leeds United: YEP Jury give their big-match predictions

Our panel of fans look ahead to Leeds United’s clash at Fulham tonight - thankfully the Whites’ final trip to London this season.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 6:00 am
SETTLING IN: Diego Llorente, with ball, is expected to continue his defensive paertnership with Pascal Struijk in the absence of skipper Liam Cooper. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

ANDY RHODES

Another week and another game against London-based opposition.

Last weekend’s draw with Chelsea was refreshing and could inspire confidence this week.

Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

UNLUCKY: Tyler Roberts is due some good luck in front of goal - especially in terms of off-side decisions. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

On the day, Leeds were dominant at times and strong at the back against a side punching below their weight.

Fulham have witnessed something of a resurgence in recent weeks, picking up points at Anfield among other places.

They are threatening to escape the drop zone so have all the motivation they need.

A Fulham win wouldn’t help United’s nerve. The bottom-three feels like a mile away but things can change quickly in football.

UPSETTING THE ODDS: Mario Lemina is embraced by Fulham manager Scott Parker after his winning goal at Anfield. Picture: Phil Noble/PA Wire.

Another big defensive performance here will be vital, but Fulham haven’t been scared to attack this season so the goals may flow.

United’s woes against teams from the ‘Big Smoke’ is no secret, but even the biggest pessimist will see this as the time to end the hoodoo once and for all.

Prediction: Fulham 1 Leeds United 2.

DAVID WATKINS

RISING STAR: Pascal Struijk is more than holding his own in the Premier League. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

Oh great joy! Another game in London! It’s known as the ‘London curse’ these days with Leeds having played 16 consecutive games in the capital without a solitary win.

It’s 14 defeats and two draws since we won at QPR back in December 2017 under Thomas Christiansen and we’ve lost all five down there so far this season. Three months ago, I’d have been much more confident of breaking the hoodoo; Fulham started the season in dire form, losing eight of their first 11 including a defeat at Elland Road.

However, the Cottagers have now lost only five of their last 18; an unlikely resurrection sees them now glimpsing Premier League survival.

In fact, strange as it seems, Fulham have now lost fewer games this season than Leeds.

PLENTY TO PONDER: Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Picture Bruce Rollinson.

A Fulham win would put them in great shape to survive while a win for Leeds would finally allay any lingering relegation fears we might have.

Fulham are the draw specialists of the division and with that ‘London bus’ syndrome in mind, I’m saying a second-consecutive draw for the Whites too.

Prediction: Fulham 2 Leeds United 2.

KEITH INGHAM

The last trip to London, for this season at least, and can it be Craven Cottage where Leeds take three points for the first time since ‘Adam was a lad’?

I sincerely hope so because Leeds’ inability to get maximum points in this particular place is becoming very frustrating.

It’s not that we usually play poorly when we are in the capital, it’s sometimes that we never get the ‘rub of the green’ when it comes to decisions.

A win tonight will banish this ‘monkey’ – hopefully for a few years at least.

I think the odd goal in three, wins this match and, fingers crossed, it’s Leeds who come out top and we can celebrate, finally a win down in ‘The Smoke’.

Marcelo’s Bielsa’s squad continues to welcome back its injured players, Robin Koch the latest one to be given some minutes in the Under-23s after his lengthy absence with a knee problem.

Tonight’s game with Fulham may be a little soon for a return to the starting XI but he could be on the bench.

Liam Cooper will again be absent so Diego Llorente and Pascal Struijk will keep their places.

And they deserve to as well after another stoic performance, this time against Chelsea.

Fulham, under ‘Scotty’ Parker have started to find form and have recently beaten Liverpool and Everton so Leeds will have to be mindful that this isn’t a team to take lightly.

They have a squad that really should be higher in the table and not struggling to stay in the Premier League.

Come on Leeds!

Prediction: Fulham 1 Leeds United 2.

JACOB STARR

Oh good, another away game in London. What could possibly go wrong?

And even though Fulham are in the relegation zone, their performances would suggest otherwise. I really want to say this is going to be the game that our wretched London curse will be broken, but I’d prefer not to look foolish once the final whistle goes tonight.

Scott Parker’s side are only two points off climbing out of the bottom three, which is where they’ve found themselves for the majority of the campaign, although their displays since Christmas gave enough evidence that the ‘great escape’ could be on.

In fact, they have lost only twice in the last eight whilst Leeds have been defeated five times in the same period.

With the teams above the Cottagers facing each other this weekend, the game against United gives Fulham a real opportunity.

With only two draws coming before last weekend, I’ve got a feeling that number will have doubled after tonight’s contest.

Liam Cooper will be missing again, but no-one can complain about Diego Llorente and Pascal Struijk developing their partnership that began with a terrific clean sheet against Chelsea.

Hopefully, Patrick Bamford will be fit after he was subbed in the first half on Saturday, as our attacking fluidity just doesn’t seem as effective in his absence.

Prediction: Fulham 1 Leeds United 1.

MATTHEW EVANS

So March ends early for us with our visit to Craven Cottage tonight being our last action of the month.

A year ago, this fixture was a crunch, Championship promotion clash that was going to be played in front of a packed Elland Road on a Wednesday night. Seven months into our Premier League return and, once again just like the early 2000s, it’s one of the least-appealing fixtures on the calendar.

United’s recent form has been, generally, disappointing although performances haven’t really dipped in line with the results.

If we can build on the solidity shown against Chelsea last weekend and take our chances at the other end then we should be able to put Fulham to the sword.

Patrick Bamford may have missed out on a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the World Cup qualifiers but if he is fit to play I wouldn’t be surprised if he netted at least a couple of goals.

I’m backing Leeds to win fairly comfortably.

Prediction: Fulham 0 Leeds United 3.

MIKE GILL

Last September at Elland Road, Fulham had the honour of providing Leeds with their first Premier League victory.

The 4-3 win had surreal quality about it, coming on the back of putting three goals past the reigning champions at Anfield.

This time it is unlikely to produce as many goals but it is a fascinating encounter.

The fortunes of the two clubs have diverged since autumn and life in the top division has been a constant struggle for the Cottagers.

Unlike Sheffield United and West Brom, Fulham stand a fighting chance of survival and will therefore produce another tough challenge for United.

The Whites must be on a high after their solid performance against Chelsea but it is high time that they hit the goalscoring trail again.

It would be nice to put the ball in the net without it being ruled offside. Tyler Roberts in particular must be wondering what he has done to upset the ‘football gods’.

United must be due a slice of decent luck.

Three points would be nice and I think Leeds will grab them.

It also appears that Patrick Bamford will be fit though our new central defensive partnership does look solid.

Prediction: Fulham 0 Leeds United 2.

Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and the latest on Leeds United, With a digital subscription, you see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click HERE to subscribe.