Leeds United v Southampton: YEP Jury give their predictions

After all the drama of the late victories over Wolves and Norwich, our panel of jurors would welcome a regulation home win tomorrow against Southampton which would be a giant stride towards Premier League safety. Here are their thoughts:

By YEP Sportsdesk
Friday, 1st April 2022, 6:00 am

ANDREW DALTON

After what has seemed to be the longest international break in football history, it’s time for the business end of the season to start with a visit from Southampton to Elland Road.

The picture which looks a lot healthier than it did three weeks ago will become a lot clearer over the next 10 days with Watford to come on Grand National Saturday.

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Joe Gelhardt nets Leeds United's winner against Norwich City. Some of our jurors would like to see him start against Southampton. Picture: Michael Regan/Getty Images.

Leeds have been handed a major boost with the return of captain Liam Cooper and Kalvin Phillips, but star striker Patrick Bamford is out injured. Leeds owe the Saints one after losing at St Mary’s back in October and I feel the last two wins will see the side bounce into Elland Road full of confidence despite the international break.

If the last 20 minutes or so at Wolves is anything to go by I think we’re in for a treat. Leeds will be looking to win only their second 3pm Saturday kick-off of the season and I fully expect them to carry on from where they left off after Wolves: I am predicting a convincing home win and Leeds to take a massive step towards safety.

Prediction: Leeds United 3 Southampton 0.

DAVID WATKINS

Liam Cooper and Kalvin Phillips are in contention to face Southampton. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

It’s been a strange couple of weeks since the euphoria of Molineux, a welcome break to calm the nerves, yet an interminable wait to see the next twist in this perplexing season.

Consecutive wins and mainly poor results for our rivals have transformed the outlook and mood but only the next game will confirm how strong this apparent revival is and how much Lady Luck played a part.

The way the fixtures fall this weekend, it looks like another win could see Leeds plant one foot firmly over the safety line.

Watford, Norwich, Brentford, Everton and Newcastle all have tough away games while Burnley host Manchester City. If ever there was an opportunity to put further distance between ourselves and the rest; this is it. Southampton arrive on the back of three defeats so, on the face of it, we’re playing them at a good time.

Rodrigo celebrates scoring at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Picture: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images.

However, Leeds have a habit of fluffing their lines on important occasions so I’m nervous and I’m going for the double bluff; Leeds ought to win, but I’m predicting we won’t and putting my faith in superstition!

Prediction: Leeds United 0 Southampton 1.

ANDY RHODES

After a seemingly never-ending international break, Leeds United return to action tomorrow looking to pick up where they left off.

The victories against Norwich City and Wolves have the potential to start a run of form that could drive the Whites to Premier League safety. While the games ebbed and flowed between excellent and worrying spells, there is no doubt that the desire is there.

Leeds will have to press on without the impressive Patrick Bamford, though due to his foot injury.

The stage could be set, then, for Joe Gelhardt once more.

In both games, the team played as a coherent unit for large spells and if the same passion is there against Southampton, a result could be there for the taking.

Jesse Marsch will have a rare selection headache with Kalvin Phillips and Liam Cooper back in training, while Raphinha was also missing for the remarkable victory at Wolves.

Let’s hope that the break hasn’t halted the forward momentum.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Southampton 1.

KEITH INGHAM

Leeds United return to Premier League action this week with confidence high after two deserved wins which kept a healthy gap to the bottom three.

There is still work to do to make sure they are completely safe however. With Patrick Bamford sidelined again, this time for six weeks, Marsch has a big decision to make. Who starts as the main striker in Bamford’s absence?

I suggest he gives ‘Joffy’ Gelhardt the opportunity to make the position his own instead of Dan James who was used by Marcelo Bielsa with mixed results. I consider Gelhardt the better option.

Marsch will hopefully have Llorente, Klich and Meslier back after they were injured at Wolves. He could also have Raphinha and Koch back. The biggest boost though will be the return of Kalvin Phillips and club captain Liam Cooper after their lengthy absences.

Southampton have had some mixed results lately but have a squad that has enough to concern the Leeds match day squad whoever starts. I’m going for a narrow win.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Southampton 1.

MIKE GILL

Back in October when we last met the Saints, we were all still in a position to regard a top-half finish as a likelier end to the season than a relegation struggle.

Although the margin was only 1-0 in favour of Southampton, it was a particularly inept performance from the Whites who never looked like scoring, let alone winning.

The coming weekend sees all of our ‘survival rivals’ do battle in a series of clashes which could have all sorts of outcomes.

This is the first time in ages that everybody has been in action together and even the finest statistician would be scratching his head as he attempts to forecast the likely implications of the various possible permutations of results.

For United, the accumulation of points is now all that matters and the frailty shown in the last two wins is irrelevant.

Southampton have had a slump in form lately, losing Premier League games against Newcastle, Watford and Aston Villa and for the sake of balance, a further defeat for them at Elland Road would be most welcome.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Southampton 1.

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