Leeds – Arsenal is set to be an absolutely fascinating clash on Sunday (start time, 11:30am ET on NBCSN, online via NBCSports.com) at Elland Road.
Marcelo Bielsa and Mikel Arteta going head-to-head on the sidelines is sure to deliver a magnificent tactical battle.
Leeds suffered heavy back-to-back defeats before the break as they missed key players and were caught out on the counter. They sit just two points behind Arsenal going into this game and their open, attractive style of play has been a breath of fresh air.
Arsenal also suffered a heavy defeat before the international break, losing 3-0 at home to Aston Villa, and it has been a case of one step forward and one back for Arteta’s side this season. Reports suggested that Dani Ceballos and David Luiz were involved in a scuffle in training over the international break, as the Arsenal squad are clearly smarting after poor recent performances.
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Here’s everything you need to know for Leeds – Arsenal.
Leeds has star central midfielder Kalvin Phillips back for this game, a big boost as they’ve missed the creativity and industry of the England international over the last few weeks. Center back Diego Llorente isn’t ready to make his Leeds debut, while Adam Forshaw also fails to make his return from injury.
Arsenal will be without Sead Kolasinac and Mohamed Elneny who both tested positive for COVID-19 while on international duty, while Bukayo Saka, Kieran Tierney and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all featured heavily for England, Scotland and Gabon respectively. In a big blow to their midfield, Thomas Partey will miss out with a thigh injury he picked up in the defeat against Aston Villa. Calum Chambers does not return from his lengthy injury, while Pablo Mari and Gabriel Martinelli remain out.
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— Leeds United (@LUFC) November 22, 2020
🚨 The team news is in!
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) November 22, 2020
What they’re saying ahead of Leeds – Arsenal
Arsenal academy product, and current Leeds right back, Luke Ayling on their season so far: “Overall, I think we’ve started well, but the last two games have been disappointing. To let in eight goals in the Premier League and expect to get anything from it, that’s not going to happen, so we have to tighten up there. We have still been in games though and I don’t think the score-lines have been fair if you really look at it. We’re eight games in and have 10 points, so it’s not the worst start in the world, but certainly inside the dressing room, we think we should have a few more points on the board.”
Mikel Arteta on the challenge of facing Bielsa’s Leeds: “They’re a very difficult opponent. I know Marcelo really well because I have followed him over the years. I had the possibility to work with players who have been involved with him for years and he is a manager I have always admired because what he transmits to his players and the way he manages to get his teams playing is very special. They’re going to go 100mph for every ball, they way they press you, the way they challenge you, the way they go about the game for 96 minutes. They will make it a really difficult and really intense game.”
Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)
Leeds (+210) are the underdogs but Arsenal (+115) are a much bigger price than many would have thought. The draw at +260 is probably the smart bet.
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Leeds – Arsenal prediction
I’m going for an upset here, if you can call it that. Although Leeds have suffered heavy defeats recently, they’ve been in both of those games. Arsenal will sit back and look to hit Leeds on the counter, which is possible, but I see the hosts being more clinical than they’ve been in recent weeks. Leeds 3-2 Arsenal.
How to watch Leeds – Arsenal stream and start time
Kickoff: 11:30 am ET Sunday
TV Channel: NBCSN
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com