I’m not going to beat about the bush; Leeds United schooled Fulham on Saturday. Please don’t @me on that point. All over the pitch, the Cottagers were second best to the home side Whites. 3-0 was a fair scoreline for the game. It did a lot to wipe clean the disappointing 2-0 loss in Cardiff the week before.
Leeds’ attacking left the visitors defence much to do and kept them busy. Fulham’s midfield dynamo, Tom Cairney, was well marshalled by Kalvin Phillips and Ben White pocketed the dangerous Aleksander Mitrovic all afternoon long.
It was a pivotal result in more than one respect. It took Leeds United back to the top of the table. It created daylight of three points to 2nd placed West Brom. It also re-established an eight-point cushion to a resurgent and dangerous Brentford in 3rd and the head of the playoff pack.
Long-term injury issues continue to keep Adam Forshaw and Jean-Kevin Augustin out of contention for tonight’s game. Tyler Roberts returned from a slight knock to put in a good performance against Fulham.
The magic of Pablo Hernandez cannot be underestimated and his 44-minute cameo in the second 45 against Fulham showed the threat he possesses. He admitted that he is having to manage a hamstring issue, but even a partially-fit Pablo is a weapon worth having.
Predicted Leeds United starting XI vs Luton Town
DEF: Ayling (RB), White (CB), Cooper (CB), Dallas (LB)
MID: Phillips (DM), Klich (CM), Harrison (LW), Roberts (AMC), Costa (RW)
STR: Bamford (CF)
Leeds United fans will be expecting no changes from the line-up that battered a good Fulham side into submission at Elland Road. truth is, they won’t get one. It will be the same Starting XI which heard the 3pm whistle on Saturday afternoon.
The substitute bench is another area that Leeds supporters will be looking at with keen eyes. After Ian Poveda’s brief home debut, fans will be wanting to see more of him.
The magic that is Pablo will see another bench start as Bielsa looks to protect his key asset. Goalscorer, and crowdie clapper, Gjanni Alioski will also be one that Leeds United could bring on to inject pace as Luton’s legs tire in the second half.
And tire they will. Under Nathan Jones, the Hatters are an improving side but you can’t see them dominating the ball as Fulham did in the first half against Leeds.