Leeds United vs. Watford
Venue: Elland Road
Kick off: 3PM
Leeds United’s search for their first win of the 2021-22 Premier League season will continue this afternoon when they welcome Watford to Elland Road.
The Whites currently sit 18th in the table, having picked up just three points from six matches this term, while Watford have gathered seven points from their six fixtures to occupy 12th position.
Leeds were so impressive on their return to the top flight last season, ultimately finishing ninth in the table, but there is no getting away from the fact that it has been a difficult start to the 2021-22 Premier League season for Marcelo Bielsa’s side, who are currently in the relegation zone.
The Whites are still waiting for their first league success of the campaign, having drawn three and lost three of their six matches, while they have conceded 14, which is the second-most in the division alongside Newcastle United.
It is not quite time to hit the panic button, as there is still so much football to play this season, but there is no downplaying the importance of this match, especially as it comes ahead of an international break.
Leeds, who will face Arsenal in the fourth round of the EFL Cup on October 26, took the lead against West Ham United last weekend through Raphinha, but an own goal from Junior Firpo levelled the scores in the 67th minute before Michail Antonio came up with a 90th-minute winner for the Hammers.
The Whites have, somewhat surprisingly, only faced Watford on two previous occasions in the Premier League, and they were victorious in both fixtures – 2-1 away and 3-1 at home in the 1999-2000 season.
Watford, taking everything into consideration, will be pleased with their start to the campaign, having won two, drawn one and lost three of their six Premier League matches to collect seven points, which has left them in 12th spot, above 13th-placed Leicester City, heading into the next set of fixtures.
The Hornets won their opening match of the league season against Aston Villa before losing three straight games against Brighton & Hove Albion, Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers without scoring.
Xisco Munoz’s side recorded a 3-1 victory at Norwich City on September 18, though, before sharing the points in a 1-1 draw with Newcastle last weekend. Like Leeds, Watford will view this as an important match, as their next two after the international break are against Liverpool and Everton.
The Hornets dropped out of the top flight after placing 19th in 2019-20, but they returned at the first time of asking, finishing second in last season’s Championship, and the quality present in the squad suggests that the Hertfordshire club have more than enough to avoid relegation.
Watford are actually unbeaten in their last five away league games against Leeds, meanwhile, recording three wins and two draws, scoring 16 times in the process.
Leeds United possible XI: Meslier, Shackleton, Struijk, Cooper, Firpo, Raphinha, Dallas, Phillips, Klich, Harrison, Rodrigo.
Watford possible XI: Foster, Femenia, Troost-Ekong, Cathcart, Rose, Tufan, Sissoko, Sarr, Cleverley, Dennis, King.