Leeds United vs Derby County: Squad news & preview

The big Championship game of the weekend comes at Elland Road, where Frank Lampard will pit his wits against Marcelo Bielsa.   Friday will see Leeds endeavour to extend their lead at the top of the Championship to five points over second-placed Norwich when they play host to Frank Lampard’s Derby County at Elland Road.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side have, however, lost three successive fixtures in all competitions and exited the FA Cup last weekend as they went down 2-1 against QPR.

Derby, meanwhile, secured a 2-2 draw with Premier League Southampton to force a replay, but have won only one of their last six.

Leeds are faced with a raft of headaches before this game, especially in the defence, where they will be without Gaetano Berardi as well as Liam Cooper and Barry Douglas. Goalkeeper Jamal Blackman, midfielder Stuart Dallas and attackers Izzy Brown and Patrick Bamford are also injured.

Kalvin Philips misses out due to a three-match ban, which he is serving the second of.

Possible Leeds starting XI: Peacock-Farrell; Shackleton, Ayling, Jansson, Davis; Klich, Forshaw, Harrison, Alioski, Pablo; Roofe

Derby do not have their problems to seek either, with their defence the area they have the majority of their worries.

Curtis Davies is the most prominent absentee, although Marcus Olsson and Craig Forsyth are also sidelined and there are doubts over Scott Malone.

Midfielder Harry Wilson has been ruled out and Joe Ledley may follow, while attacker Mason Bennett will not feature.

Possible Derby starting XI: Carson; Bogle, Keogh, Tomori, Wisdom; Evans, Bryson, Mount; Waghorn, Lawrence, Marriott

Betting & Match Odds

Leeds are priced at odds of 3/4 to win according to bet 365, while a draw is available at 11/4. A win for Derby is priced at 7/2.

Click here to see all of bet 365's offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.

Match Preview

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa remains upbeat about his side’s prospects of making a return to the Premier League after a 15-year absence, despite seeing his team go down to three successive defeats.

The Argentine watched QPR oust the Lilywhites from the FA Cup last weekend by a 2-1 margin, though he was relatively satisfied with the level of football that his team produced.

“We have to evaluate if we deserved to lose the three games that we have, the second thing we do is evaluate the positive and negative aspects, and we need to correct the negative things and underline the positives,” he said after that loss.

“The game of against Derby County is very important and I think the mental state of the players will be linked more to the future than the past.”

Meanwhile, Derby find themselves simply fighting for a playoff spot as they lie sixth, eight points behind the leaders, who beat them 4-1 at Pride Park in August.

That remains a sore defeat for Frank Lampard’s side, who are out for revenge in the first of the weekend’s Championship matches.

“It wasn't pretty viewing when we played Leeds at our place but we're full of confidence and I feel we can go there and get a result,” Rams midfielder Duane Holmes said.

“They look like a completely different team and are playing some really good stuff, but on our day, I feel like we can beat anyone, so we’re looking forward to it.”

Derby might be struggling for wins at present, but the last scalp they took was second-placed Norwich in a spectacular 4-3 away win, in which they scored twice in the last three minutes.

The visitors will, therefore, not be lacking confidence.


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