Liverpool travel to Elland Road for the first time in over 5 years after Leeds’ rapid descent away from the Premier League and in to their current position in League 1.
Over recent days the similarities between Leeds’ high risk finances 6 years ago have been likened to Liverpool’s current huge debt mountain, but tonight eyes will be on the football as Leeds will no doubt have a huge point to prove in what should be an entertaining game.
Liverpool will be sending out a much weaker starting team, including some of the squad and fringe players.
Like Liverpool, Leeds have a proud heritage in the game and there have been many a classic battle over the years between the two clubs.
In 1971, Leeds knocked the reds out of the Fairs Cup at the semi final stage. Winning 1-0 over two legs. This was some revenge for 1965 when Shankly led Liverpool to their first ever FA Cup. We beat Leeds 2-1 in the final. Roger Hunt and an injury time Ian St John goal landed the cup for the reds.
Liverpool in recent years have taken two succesful players from Leeds. Gary McAllister and Harry Kewell. One turned out to be a great buy – the other got injured in three cup finals.
Leeds have done better at Anfield in the Premier League years and have only won once at Elland Road in the last 10 clashes between the clubs.
The club’s last meeting was in February 2004 at Elland Road. Harry Kewell and Milan Baros scored as the reds drew 2-2.
Head to head
Liverpool – 56
Leeds – 27
Draw – 30
Liverpool – 21
Leeds Utd – 18
Draw – 16
Daniel Agger is back in the squad and could take part, as could Fabio Aurelio. Liverpool’s only injury doubt is still Alberto Aquilani.
Leeds are unbeaten and top of League 1, having won 7 and drew 1 of their 8 games. They have the meanest defence in the league – only conceding 4 times.
They beat Gillingham 4-1 at home at the weekend. Beckford and Johnson have 11 goals between the pair of them in the league so far.
The reds have won our last 4 games, although only one can be described as a comfortable victory.
Liverpool – (from) Cavalieri, Aurelio, Agger, Johnson, Skrtel, Carragher, Insua, Dossena, Benayoun, Babel, Mascherano, Gerrard, Kuyt, Lucas, El Zhar, Voronin, Spearing, Ngog.
Liverpool are likely to rest Reina, Gerrard and Torres for the game. Agger and Aurelio are both pushing for a start. David N’gog, Jay Spearing and Kyrgiakos could all play a role in the game.
Possible starting XI – Cavalieri, Johnson, Kyrgiako, Agger, Aurelio, Mascherano, Lucas, Kuyt, Babel, Ngog, Voronin
The match is on Sky Sports 2 in the UK.
Leeds 1-2 Liverpool
We think this is going to be a fairly difficult game for a weakened reds side. Although two divisions apart, Leeds are flying and will not be facing a full strength Liverpool team. The reds will need to be on top of their game, but the Yorkshire side will have a point to prove. A great opportunity for a reds squad player to make a name for themselves.