Leeds United will be hoping to continue on their steady upward trajectory in the Championship when they host Watford on Saturday.

Both sides come into the clash on the back of creditable draws in midweek. Leeds United were involved in a goalless stalemate at Hull City, while Watford shared the spoils with West Brom after a 2-2 draw.

Daniel Farke’s men are on a five-match unbeaten run, while the visit of the Hornets is the latest opportunity for the Whites to register their first home win of the campaign.

Whites made point at Hull

A maximum points haul at Hull City on Wednesday would have been nice, but a point in the circumstances was a satisfactory reward.

Buoyed by the 3-0 trouncing of Millwall last time out, Leeds United went into the clash looking to make it two away wins on the bounce.

Against a Hull City side two points better off and unbeaten since the opening day defeat by Leicester City, Farke had no illusions about the magnitude of the challenge that awaited his side at the MKM Stadium.

That challenge got doubly difficult when Joe Rodon was sent off on the hour mark for a second bookable offense, leaving Leeds United to earn a valuable point with 10 men.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Leeds United still looked the more likely winner. Indeed, but for the brilliance of debutant Ryan Allsop in the Tigers goal, Farke’s men might have come away with all three points.

Understandably, the draw would have been received with a tinge of disappointment by some Leeds fans, especially after the renewed optimism fanned by the win at Millwall.

But in the circumstances, a draw without conceding for the third successive match, and on the back of effort by 10 men, was a point well earned.

Attention now turns to Saturday’s home tie with a Watford side who much like Leeds United will be looking to continue to string together results in a bid to haul themselves into the promotion reckoning.

Team news

Farke made two changes to the side that beat Millwall for the trip to Hull City in Wednesday, with Jamie Shackleton and Dan James coming in for Sam Byram and Crysencio Summerville respectively.

Wilfried Gnonto was forced off early in the first half with an ankle injury while Ethan Ampadu reportedly played through the pain barrier.

Summerville, who gave a good account of himself when he came on for Gnonto at Hull City, is favoured to replace the Italy international, although the likes of Ian Poveda and Jaidon Antony also have solid claims.

Glen Kamara and Ilia Gruev are also pushing for their full debuts and could come into the manager’s thinking as Farke looks to utilize the full depth of his squad during a busy period.

The inclusion of Liam Cooper on the bench at the MKM Stadium for the first time since the opening day draw with Cardiff City was a sight for sore eyes.

The fit-again skipper was called upon to plug the gap created by the dismissal of Rodon, with Leeds United sacrificing striker Joel Piroe for a defender. With Rodon suspended, Cooper looks a shoo-in to return to the starting line-up on Saturday although Charlie Cresswell is also an option.

There was more good news for Leeds United fans this week, with revelations that Stuart Dallas was back in training as the midfielder steps up his fitness following almost 18 months out with a broken femur.

The Watford match comes too soon for the Northern Ireland international, but news of his return to Thorp Arch is a massive boon.

Patrick Bamford is another who is back in training but won’t be involved against Watford. Given his injury history, the striker will be eased rather that rushed back to action.

Elland Road expects!


I'm Barrie Jarrett, born in Leeds, lived over a decade in South Africa, CEO And Co Founder of Planet Sport Limited and Planet Bet Limited.

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