Our live match stream is up and running ahead of Sunday afternoon’s Premier League fixture Leeds v Arsenal, kicking off at 4:30pm BST.
You can keep an eye on the commentary as it happens below, but first, we take a preview into the fixture, the lineups, predictions and much more.
In each side’s previous game, Leeds ended up losing 4-1 away to Crystal Palace. Scott Dann scored his first Premier League goal since December 2017; Patrick Bamford had goal controversially disallowed by VAR for marginal offside call at 1-0; Palace moved up to sixth in the Premier League table.
Arsenal suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of Aston Villa, who won 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium. Bukayo Saka’s own goal was added to by Ollie Watkins’ double; John McGinn saw a strike disallowed via VAR in the first minute; Aston Villa moved up to sixth while Arsenal slipped to 11th.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta on issues after the international break: Yes, it is very unusual and concerning because you have players all over the world with the context of Covid makes things very unpredictable and most of the time when it is unpredictable, it is not good news for the team. But I think a lot of clubs are in the same position and you have to try to make it as easy as possible for the players but at the same time it is not ideal to prepare for football games.
Arteta on what he expects from Leeds: That they will go full gas like they always do and they have had two weeks to prepare for the game, they don’t have as many internationals as us and I don’t expect them to change too much. They are very loyal to their principles, to the way the play and they approach every game the same way, which is to win and to be very aggressive with and without the ball and try to win. It doesn’t matter where they play, what I have seen from them in the last season, it is not a concern about who they play against, it is about what they do.
Arteta on the importance of responding after the Aston Villa defeat: Obviously it’s been a painful week because normally when you have a defeat at home, you want a game straight away. That wasn’t the case but we used that as well to reflect on what we are doing, to analyse why that happened. We were all shocked the way we ended the game, the last 25 or 30 minutes, before that it was a different game but still we have to improve in many areas. That consistency is something we need to get much better at and after the good result and brilliant performance at Old Trafford, to get that loss was a shock to the system for everybody. But let’s take the positives out of it, learn and move on.
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa on Pascal Struijk signing a new deal and his best position: “I think the position of left centre back is the best suited to his characteristics. But a left centre back a lot of the time in the game becomes a left full-back and a lot of times he also has to play as a defensive mid. I think he can also play in these two positions.”
On the most important leadership trait in management: “The most important thing is to convince without lying to the player. You can convince a player by lying to him but that doesn’t last for long. But if you can convince without lying, that’s something that the great managers are able to do.”
On if the international break has been beneficial on the training pitch: “The international break doesn’t allow for the evolution of the team. It’s difficult to balance the training given the realities of everyone. The players who stay at Leeds can rest more and the ones who are with their national teams have less opportunity to do so. The collective work is impossible to do as not everyone is here, we have looked to correct individual errors and we have incorporated young players to work with the first team.”
On Kalvin Phillips being back and the improvements in his game in recent seasons: “Phillips is a player who usually plays. The players who play regularly, it’s always important to count on them. The evolution of Phillips is a constant one, not due to what I am proposing but because he has a lot of capacity to analyse and criticise himself. He finds what he needs to improve and corrects it. And he does this by himself.”
Leeds United Premier League form: WDLWLL
Arsenal Premier League form: LWLLWL
Arsenal form (all competitions): WLWWWL
Leeds United possible starting lineup:
Meslier; Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas; Phillips; Costa, Roberts, Klich, Harrison; Bamford
Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Leno; Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney; Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Saka; Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang
He said: There’s surely got to be a reaction from Arsenal, after such a poor performance in their defeat by Aston Villa.
But I am going to go with Leeds here. They had a heavy defeat of their own, against Crystal Palace, but that game might have been a very different story if Patrick Bamford’s equaliser had not been ruled out by a ridiculous offside decision.
I really do think this game is especially hard to call, but that is Leeds at the moment – they will go for it, but give the opposition chances.
With the Gunners, the question is more about whether they turn up as a team – a case of ‘same old Arsenal’ if you like. They had just started to improve and had looked as if they were about to kick on under Mikel Arteta but instead they have been very inconsistent.
Lawro’s prediction: 2-1