June 21, 2024

Sam Allardyce’s first game in charge of the Whites at Elland Road is against his former club Newcastle United

Neither Leeds United nor Newcastle can afford to miss out on the three points on offer at Elland Road today, for vastly different reasons. While Sam Allardyce’s men know they must claim a win which will give them a big boost in their fight against relegation from the Premier League, Eddie Howe and Newcastle are looking to secure a top-four spot and Champions League football next season.

Both sides suffered defeat against the top two sides in the division last time out, Leeds narrowly losing 2-1 at leaders Manchester City, while Arsenal maintained their title interest with a 2-0 win at St James’ Park. That was only the Magpies’ fifth defeat in the league so far, and they will be looking to make a statement today.

Howe has options to consider should he decide to make a change up front, but is thin on the ground when it comes to the midfield. Sean Longstaff has seen a specialist over a foot injury picked up in Newcastle’s 4-1 win at Everton and will be sidelined again today in what is a big blow to the Magpies.

That leaves just Bruno Guimaraes, Joe Willock and Joelinton to make up a midfield trio, with Newcastle struggling to dominate the central battle against Arsenal. Food for thought for Allardyce perhaps?

Up front, Howe made a rare move of including both Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson in the same starting XI against the Gunners, with Swede Isak starting in a left-sided role. While neither scored, it’s a move Newcastle are likely to persevere with today, with either Jacob Murphy or Miguel Almiron on the right.

However, if Howe wanted to change things then he certainly has options, with Allan Saint-Maximin fit again after a lengthy absence and Anthony Gordon pushing for another chance to show what he can do after a relatively slow start to his career on Tyneside.

Otherwise, Newcastle head to Leeds with a strong squad. Club captain Jamaal Lascelles and the experienced Matt Ritchie have both been ruled out of the season and will miss the trip, while full-back Emil Krafth has yet to recover from a long-term knee injury.

Expect to see the familiar back four of Kieran Trippier, Fabian Schar, Sven Botman and Dan Burn in front of goalkeeper Nick Pope, with left-back Matt Targett an option again for the visitors.

Youngster Elliot Anderson will again feature on the bench alongside the likes of Paul Dummett and Javier Manquillo, with Martin Dubravka the back-up goalkeeper.

read more:

Prior to the “Huge” match between Leeds United and Newcastle United in the Premier League, Graeme Souness shares Sam Allardyce’s judgment.

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