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

Buoyed by last weekend’s victory at Manchester City our fans’ panel are feeling optimistic ahead of Leeds United’s home clash with Liverpool tomorrow.

Sunday, 18th April 2021, 4:30 pm

DAVID WATKINS

Few folks gave Leeds much chance against Manchester City last week yet, despite playing 45 minutes with 10 men and despite dire officiating, we beat them.

Therefore, if we can keep 11 on the pitch and if referees Taylor and Dean (he’s on VAR) play nicely, then surely there’s no reason we can’t beat Liverpool is there?

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FLASHBACK: Leeds United's Mateusz Klich, centre, celebrates scoring his side's third goal against Liverpool in September. Picture: Phil Noble/PA Wire.

The Reds started this season with one league defeat in 16 games but then suffered a title-destroying wobble, losing eight of their next 12 at the start of this calendar year. They come to Leeds on the back of a trio of good-looking wins against Wolves, Arsenal and Aston Villa.

In September, on opening day, we almost did beat them. A contentious handball that should never have been given and a rash late Rodrigo challenge on Fabinho meant two Mo Salah penalties were the difference that day.

A case can be made for any result in this game so, for once, I’m going with the heart and expecting some karma! Remember, three more points would leave us just four adrift of the Reds!

Prediction: Leeds United 3 Liverpool 2.

RESPECT: Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa, right, and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp fist bump after September's match at Anfield. Picture: Phil Noble/PA Wire.

MATTHEW EVANS

Plenty has changed since we last played Liverpool. On the opening day of the season we thought Liverpool were practically unbeatable and would likely run away with the league again.

We didn’t know that United would look so comfortable in the top flight and we expected a much harder time to stay in the division. Finally, VAR has been tweaked to the point that Robin Koch’s handball probably wouldn’t have been a handball had it happened later in the season and the game might have finished more favourably for us.

We go into this return game with a chance to close the gap on last season’s champions to just four points. That tells the story of two very different seasons, one of overachievement and one of underachievement. It’s something we’d have all taken at the start of the season.

CLINCHER: Mohamed Salah of Liverpool nets his side's winning goal in September's 4-3 victory over Leeds United. Picture: Phil Nobl/Getty Images.

We probably wouldn’t have gone into this game with particularly high expectations if it wasn’t for the fact we beat this season’s champions elect, away from home, with only 10 men last weekend.

Liverpool are definitely beatable and, I’m backing a fourth straight 2-1 win for the Whites.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Liverpool 1.

JACOB STARR

IN FORM: Leeds United's Diego Llorente. Picture: Andrew Yates/Sportimage.

The Whites’ season so far has been nothing short of excellent, and it all started with an admirable 4-3 defeat against last years’ champions.

The Liverpool side visiting Elland Road tomorrow, though, don’t quite boast the same fear factor as they used to.

Last weekend’s sensational victory at the Etihad will give Leeds even more confidence that we can go out and get another result against one of the major forces of English football.

Jurgen Klopp’s men find themselves trailing by three points in the race for the top four after an abysmal February saw them lose four times.

However, the Reds have won their last three in the league.

If United can keep Mo Salah and the surprise package, Diogo Jota, quiet, there is a good chance we can make it four wins on the bounce, or at least five unbeaten.

A victory would put Marcelo Bielsa’s team four points behind the defending champions. No-one in their wildest dreams would have imagined that with only six to play after this one.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Liverpool 2.

KEITH INGHAM

With last Saturday’s memories still fresh in every Leeds fan’s head, the players now turn their attentions to last season’s champions Liverpool.

Liverpool have had wretched luck with injuries this season and have failed to challenge for the title this season and have also this week been knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid 3-1 on aggregate and there is a real possibility they won’t qualify for next season’s competition.

Leeds on the other hand will go into the game high on confidence after last weekend’s superb victory over Manchester City.

Marcelo Bielsa will probably keep the same side for the game if Raphinha recovers from a thigh injury – he is rated only 50/50 to play. Jack Harrison will probably come in if the Brazilian winger fails to recover.

With Liam Cooper suspended, Pascal Struijk or Robin Koch will partner Diego Llorente in the heart of the defence.

Liverpool may be hurting after their cup exit so they will be determined to put one over on one of their rivals from years gone by.

Leeds, though, will see this as a great opportunity to repeat what they did against City.

A draw would be a good result and I think they will at least get a point from the game, I also see a few goals scored in this encounter too.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Liverpool 2.

MIKE GILL

With players and fans still riding on the crest of a wave after the epic win over Manchester City, United face another stern test against Liverpool.

The reason for the demise of the Reds this season is unclear.

Yes, they have lost key players to injury but we know all about that and the resources that they have at their disposal should have provided adequate cover.

They started well midweek against Real Madrid but faded before capitulation.

Fourth position and a place in next year’s Champions League is now a must for them.

The Whites could be without Raphinha. The Brazilian’s fine form this season is a given but up until Saturday his fitness and resilience has also been impressive despite taking a battering week after week by frustrated opponents.

At least Leeds should be able to play with 11 men for the 90 minutes ahead.

Logic says United should be on the receiving end of a backlash but they have grown in confidence and look a tougher prospect for anyone to face.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Liverpool 1.

ANDY RHODES

With the season well and truly at its business end, every side still has something to play for. Not least Liverpool who are still chasing a Champions League place.

Despite their trouble at home and exit from Europe last week, Liverpool are finding form again when it matters. However, so are Leeds.

United are near the top of the form table and last week’s win at City shows they can compete with the best.

The defence was outstanding last week but United will be without Liam Cooper this weekend following his sending off. Diego Llorente was arguably man of the match, and another top showing will be needed tonight.

Patrick Bamford is enduring a mini-goal drought with four this calendar year. A few more before the end of the campaign wouldn’t harm his England chances.

With safety all but confirmed, Leeds can afford to play with complete freedom and will be looking at the places above them in the table which are within touching distance.

A win here would again be a scalp but after last weekend’s result, anything is possible.

Man of the match: Leeds United 1 Liverpool 2.

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