We look at Sunday’s clash.
Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United are back at Elland Road this weekend as his side take on three-time Premier League winners, Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta is in the opposition dug out and is the latest coach to be tasked with returning the Gunners to their former glory. He has began his time at the helm by winning two trophies (Emirates FA Cup & FA Community Shield), pleasing the Arsenal faithful with instant success.
After being appointed as head coach (now changed to manager) midway through the 2019/20 campaign, Arteta has attempted to bring an attractive, football based, high-pressing style to his side. This philosophy is favoured by the former Spanish international having worked so closely with Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola prior to his arrival at the Emirates, who adopted a similar strategy.
Like the Whites, Arsenal come into the match off the back of a defeat. A 0-3 loss at home to Aston Villa has left a bitter taste during the international break and Sunday’s visitors will be arriving at Elland Road looking to bounce back. But, so will Bielsa’s Leeds side, who were also beaten by a three goal margin away at Crystal Palace.
After the previous international break in October, the North Londoners were defeated 1-0 at Manchester City in their first game back. This mirrors Leeds, who lost by the same scoreline to Wolves.
Winning two from four on their travels so far, Arsenal have scored five and conceded four, picking up two clean sheets and six points.
The two teams haven’t met in the Premier League since 2003/2004. Arsene Wenger’s side won comfortably that season both home and away, as well as adding insult to injury by knocking the Whites out of the FA Cup that year as well.
The most recent encounter at Elland Road was in 2010/11. An FA Cup tie that where Simon Grayson’s side go toe-to-toe with Wenger’s men saw the visitors run out 1-3 winners. Leeds fans will remember Bradley Johnson’s stunner fondly, towards the end of the first half.
Leeds United: Marcelo Bielsa
Arsenal: Mikel Arteta
Leeds United: 15th
Premier League form
Leeds United: DLWLL
Premier League top scorer
Leeds United: Patrick Bamford (7)
Arsenal: Alexandre Lacazette (3)
Head to head
Leeds United: 41
Last time at Elland Road
Wednesday 19th January 2011
Emirates FA Cup
Leeds United 1 (Johnson 37’)
Arsenal 3 (Nasri 5’, Sagna 35’, Van Persie 76’)
Marcelo Bielsa has confirmed that Kalvin Phillips and Rodrigo will both return to the squad this weekend. He remains undecided whether either play will start the match but did confirm that they are fit enough to be involved. This however is not the case for Diego Llorente and Jamie Shackleton, who will miss the fixture. For Arsenal, notable absentees include Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny at the heart of their midfield. Defenders, Sead Kolasinac and Pablo Mari will also be out, along with Gabriel Martinelli still missing in attack.
Referee - Anthony Taylor
Assistant Referee 1 - Gary Beswick
Assistant Referee 2 - Adam Nunn
Fourth Official - Peter Bankes
Video Assistant Referee - Stuart Attwell
The key battle
Jack Harrison vs Hector Bellerin
Both players like to get forward, both players have a duty to defend. With two assists each this season, the left side of the pitch for Leeds and the right side of the pitch for Arsenal will be a great watch on Sunday afternoon.
Bellerin is a defender by trade, operating at right-back. He is well known for his pace and attacking intent. He leads Arsenal’s assist charts so far this season with two and will be looking to not only contain Harrison, but counter-attack against him too.
On the other hand, Leeds’ number 22 will be looking to exploit Bellerin’s willingness to attack by getting in behind, himself. Certainly a battle to keep a close eye on.
Leeds United: 21/10
(Odds correct at time of article published)
How to watch
The game will be live on Sky Sports Main Event, with live commentary on LUTV. Click here for more information.