Southampton v Leeds United: YEP Jury give their big-match verdicts

Although still awaiting their first victory of the season, Southampton will pose a serious threat to Leeds United tomorrow - according to our fans’ panel. Here are their thoughts on the game:

Friday, 15th October 2021, 6:00 am

JACOB STARR

Following on from Watford, Southampton away this weekend is another contest from which Leeds should be taking all three points if we want to put our slow start behind us.

Saints have started even slower, acquiring only four points so far compared to the Whites’ six. Marcelo Bielsa’s men came out on top in this fixture last campaign, earning a 2-0 victory on the south coast.

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Dan James could be a key player for Leeds United at Southampton. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

Neither Patrick Bamford nor Kalvin Phillips featured for England over the break, with the latter picking up a knock during the Watford game. Those two are probably our most vital assets so to be without both would certainly not be ideal, if that were to be the case. I’d be inclined to say Ralph Hassenhuttl’s side have been and are better than their points tally suggests, a goalless draw at the Etihad being the pick of the results.

Key man James Ward-Prowse will be missing, though, having been shown a red card last time out against Chelsea.

Fortunately for us, we won’t have to deal with his outstanding set-piece ability.

Prediction: Southampton 1 Leeds United 2.

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.

DAVID WATKINS

It seems a long time since we trounced Watford in the world’s most one-sided 1-0 victory but we finally get back into action at St Mary’s against one of the four Premier League sides still without a win this season.

Leeds were in that camp too, of course, before we beat the Hornets and now is the time we need to start to climb the table by ensuring the Saints continue to remain winless.

It will not be easy; I think, by now, we can safely say that every side we faced in the Premier League last season has improved this summer and Southampton have had a tough run of fixtures which maybe hides their true quality. Calls for the sacking of Ralph Hasenhuttl seem premature to me; draws against both Manchester sides and West Ham and holding Chelsea to a 1-1 score until the final six minutes, despite having 10 men, shows they cannot be underestimated.

Rodrigo breaks through the Watford defence last time out at Elland Road. Picture: Simon Hulme.

Like Leeds, I think they are far better than their points tally suggests.

If Leeds come away from St Mary’s with a point, I will be more than happy.

Prediction: Southampton 1 Leeds United 1.

KEITH INGHAM

Southampton's influential playmaker James Ward-Prowse will miss the game against Leeds United after being shown a red card by Martin Atkinson in the Saints' 3-1 defeat to Chelsea. Picture: James Williamson/Getty Images.

Leeds travel to Southampton tomorrow hoping to add to the three points they achieved against Watford.

Their opponents are without a win this season so hopes will be high that the first away win could come against the Saints.

Leeds will again be without the services of Patrick Bamford and Robin Koch for the game. Marcelo Bielsa may keep the same side that beat Watford, but it depends on whether Raphinha recovers from a long journey from South America.

The winger should land back in England less than 12 hours before the game.

Dan James or Jack Harrison will take the left wing role, James impressed last time out so may keep his place.

Southampton’s manager, Ralph Hassenhuttl, is under pressure and will be without England international James Ward-Prowse, who is suspended, and striker Che Adams – injured in Scotland’s win over Israel – is also out.

I’m going for a win and there may be a goal or three with Leeds getting their first three-pointer on the road, Rodrigo and James with the goals.

This fixture brings back memories of one of the biggest comebacks I can remember.

In 2005, Leeds were 3-0 down but fought back with goals from Paul Butler, Robbie Blake and a David Healy penalty to level matters. Amazingly, they went on to win the game 4-3 thanks to a goal from Liam Miller four minutes from time. Sadly Miller passed away in 2018 aged 36. He played for Leeds 28 times on loan from Manchester United.

His winner at Southampton was his only goal for Leeds.

Prediction: Southampton 1 Leeds United 2.

ANDY RHODES
With the international break now over, all attention has turned to one player, rather than one game – against Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday.

There’s no doubt that Leeds are a weaker side without Raphinha, but will he be ready after being in the Brazil squad in the early hours of Friday morning?

If not, it might give Daniel James the chance to shine in a United shirt. It remains to be seen how Leeds will line up but, with the Saints missing key players, this could be an opportunity for points.

James Ward-Prowse and Che Adams are among the players missing for the home side and, for a team that hasn’t won a league game this season, they will be a big loss.

Leeds’ recent performances have seen a marked improvement across the pitch so, against a side struggling for form, another three points would be invaluable.

Although the international break came at the wrong time, don’t expect the Whites to have lost any momentum.

Prediction: Southampton 0 Leeds United 2.

MIKE GILL

In many ways, the Saints have had a similar start to United and just one win would have made their early-season performance look much better.

They have achieved creditable draws against both Manchester clubs as well as West Ham and have a mean defence.

Just like Leeds, they are finding goals hard to come by especially with their talismanic midfielder James Ward-Prowse absent owing to suspension.

Southampton are the perennial survivors and tend to enjoy long spells in the top flight with their latest stint beginning in 2012.

Their manager, Ralph Hassenhuttl has been in charge for a similar length of time as Marcelo Bielsa’s tenure at Leeds so they will be a tough nut to crack.

Leeds should be confident and well rested but their finishing still remains a worry.

With Patrick Bamford still unavailable, the attacking responsibilities, although shared, will be helped by another improved performance from Rodrigo.

I’m going for a low-scoring encounter with the Whites coming out on top.

Prediction: Southampton 0 Leeds United 1.

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