Leeds United travel to Loftus Road for tomorrow’s game looking to break a hoodoo in the capital that has seen them beaten more than the most scrambled of scrambled eggs. Their last trip to The Smoke saw them boss Arsenal in a first-half display of pure joy before losing 1-0 and exiting the FA Cup.
An inability to convert chance after chance in the first-half cost Leeds United dearly as Premier League Arsenal upped their game and won a closer second 45 minutes by the most narrow of margins. That wastefulness in front of goal haunted them and was served up as a plat du jour in the following Championship game against Sheffield Wednesday.
The Owls arrived at Elland Road on a run of defeats and many thought a rampant Leeds would simply overpower their South Yorkshire visitors en route to an easy victory. That wasn’t the case with Garry Monk’s side running out 2-0 victors thanks to late goals from Jacob Murphy and Atdhe Nuhiu.
Leeds United are still in the automatic promotion picture but that defeat cut their buffer to just six points with Brentford continuing their impressive surge up the table.
Leeds United: three big questions ahead of the game against QPR
1. Can the Whites turn waste into profit? The wastefulness of Leeds United in front of goal isn’t just something provable by the use of xG projections or any other fancy statistics – anyone with even half-decently functioning eyes can see it. Pressure on opponents is one thing, carving out opportunities is another but finishing both those situations off is a different kettle of fish altogether. What Leeds United fans will want is to see waste turned into profit but can they manage it?
2. Left-back or left back in the changing room? Right-to-centre across the Leeds United backline is pretty much assured and secure. However, cast your eyes to left-back and it’s like a comedy revolving door skit stuck on repeat. A lack of continuity and injuries has seen a host of players come in and rotate out throughout this season. Mainstays have been the likes of Gianni Alioski and Barry Douglas but others such as Stuart Dallas and even Jack Harrison have covered there. Natural left-back Douglas is injured (again) and this likely means another stint of a Whites player playing out of position at Loftus Road.
3. Can the Whites jolt out of the London rut? Visits to the capital have proved anything but fruitful for the Whites. Last time out it was a loss to Arsenal in the FA Cup Third Round and they’ve lost twice this season in the capital to Charlton Athletic (1-0) and Fulham (2-1) and a loss tomorrow against QPR would make it a hat-trick of league losses on the road in that there London. A Fulham win tonight against Middlesbrough will cut the buffer the Whites have over the playoff pack to just four points and that could be a three-point gap tomorrow if Brentford beat Huddersfield Town. It’s not whether Leeds can jolt out of the London rut they find themselves in; they simply must!