Leeds United fans search for positives and ask manager question in Liverpool predictions
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Ahead of Saturday evening’s Premier League fixture at Anfield, here is what our YEP Jury have had to say about United’s current predicament, head coach Jesse Marsch and predictions for the clash between the Reds and Whites.
After four days of hand wringing and self examination, most Leeds fans are no closer to seeing some form of solution to their current woes. An alarming fall from grace after a good start has left the threat of relegation a real possibility even at this early stage of the season.
There is no chance of deluding ourselves about our prospects this time around and the only positive is that an appreciation of where we are has kicked in very early in the campaign. There is not a depleted squad ravaged by injuries this season. What we have is a collection of players who are short of confidence and belief not to mention a collective loss of form.
The coach's methods are questionable and we seem to have the worst of both worlds as he tinkers with selection but sticks rigidly to the lack of width which has exposed our vulnerability defensively. Can we come away from Anfield with anything other than bruised pride? Unlikely.
Social media, if you believe it, is rife with claims that Jesse Marsch will be sacked if Leeds lose to Liverpool. It seems unlikely to me though that not losing at Anfield is a criterion since, let’s be honest, we probably know now that we will lose it.
Or will we? There are no certainties in football. Liverpool lost at Nottingham Forest last weekend, but few would put hard-earned cash on Leeds achieving the same result. Leeds are on a poor run, eight games without a win, and are now in the bottom three and we seem to have found a rich vein of ways in which to shoot ourselves in the foot every time we play.
If we continue to gift goals to the opposition tomorrow night then the case for a new manager might well be unquestionable as it’s high time we sorted out our naïve defence. Conceding soft goals is probably a more significant reason for our slide down the table than missing chances at the other end.
Prediction: Liverpool 2 Leeds United 1.
In the last three outings we have had the better of the attacking stats (shots/corners/touches in opposition box etc) in each game but lost all three. We also have the worst-performing centre-forward (statistically) in the Premier League based on good chances not taken. Small margins make the difference.
And defensively we are vulnerable. We need to be on the other side of these margins, along with tightening/better organising the defence. But at Anfield – against a wounded Liverpool side chomping at the bit, who recently got the better of Man City and us with low confidence...
Hope springs eternal but I just can’t see it against that Liverpool forward line who’ll be well aware of our frailties. Liverpool can and do concede but tend to score more and I fear a repeat of last season’s result if they score early. I’d play Joffy (other options ain’t working) and experience everywhere else, and would plan to use four-five subs.
Prediction: Liverpool 3 Leeds United 1.
In business, relationships and even football there comes a time when you realise it’s best for all concerned to part and do the best for the situation and not because you think it might or has to still work. It won’t because either the players aren’t invested in it or aren’t good enough to comply with what is being asked of them. It’s as simple as that
Tomorrow’s opponents Liverpool have also had an indifferent season so far, summed up last weekend by a defeat at bottom club Nottingham Forest. Injuries have once again caused Jurgen Klopp problems but the loss of one of his main men Sadio Mane in the summer has been his main issue.
A confident team would go into this game with hope but this team has very little of it. I expect a heavy defeat but, hopefully, not an embarrassing one for the sake of the supporters who will be travelling over the Pennines. They at least deserve 100 per cent effort from this disappointing squad.
Prediction: Liverpool 5 Leeds United 0.
The run Leeds United have been on… there’s not many tougher games, is there? A trip to Anfield is a daunting task at the best of times but this will be a real challenge for Jesse Marsch’s side. It’s probably safe to say that no-one will expect a Leeds win so, in a way, this feels like lambs going to the slaughter.
Liverpool were strong in midweek after a disappointing result against Nottingham Forest. A three-goal win at Ajax sees them qualify for the next round of the Champions League - perhaps Jurgen Klopp will celebrate by resting a few key players.
Leeds will need to find a way of breaking them down while staying solid at the back. Luis Sinisterra continues to be a creative outlet up front, while Patrick Bamford looked good again last Sunday coming off the bench. Liverpool have had a hard time in some home games this season. Could this be another one of those occasions?
Prediction: Liverpool 3 Leeds United 0.