Key battle between Leeds United's dangerman and Arsenal stand-in, the Gunners' active threat and Graham Smyth's prediction

Leeds United's last game against Arsenal was eventful, but goalless and it's difficult to see the same scoreline this time round.

By Graham Smyth
Saturday, 13th February 2021, 4:45 pm

The return fixture will see Gjanni Alioksi reunited with Nicolas Pepe, but a far more intriguing battle will be the one between Raphina and Cedric Soares.

Here's the YEP preview.

KEY BATTLE

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Cedric Soares v Raphinha

Leeds United's in-form Brazilian winger will not be up against Arsenal's first choice left-back, Kieran Tierney. The Scottish international will not have recovered from a lower leg muscle strain in time for the visit of the Whites, so Cedric Soares is expected to continue at left-back where he has played for the past four games. If Raphinha can reproduce his performance against Crystal Palace, Soares will be up against it and Leeds will have an in-road. Raphinha's movement is difficult for very good defenders to handle so Soares will need to be on it from the start.

ARSENAL KEY MAN

Bukayo Saka

SECOND CHANCE - Bukayo Saka gets another crack at Leeds United after looking dangerous for Arsenal in the first game at Elland Road, only to limp off with a bruised knee. Pic: Getty

Saka is an active threat throughout games and one teams struggle to contain. He makes good choices in the final third, producing passes that create chances, he can dribble past defenders, he wins free-kicks, gets shots away and scores goals. He was highly impressive when he came on at Elland Road, only for a bruised knee to take him off again. One to watch.

GRAHAM SMYTH'S VERDICT

Leeds United don't win in London, do they? At some point, that's going to change. Why not this weekend? They're full of confidence, full of goals and attacking flair and Arsenal are not exactly bang in form. Having dominated large spells of their last two games against the Gunners and with Raphinha now firmly embedded in Marcelo Bielsa's side and Patrick Bamford in terrific form, Leeds have a real chance. I can see a win. I'm going 2-1.