HEAD TO HEAD
Leeds United's 2019/20 Sky Bet Championship campaign appears, for the moment at least, to have turned on 28 minutes in mid-December.
Seven minutes into the second-half of their home game against Cardiff City on 14 December they held a 3-0 lead and looked set to be going back top of the Sky Bet Championship table, 12 points clear of third. However, a Lee Tomlin-inspired Cardiff side struck three times in those closing minutes to deny Leeds an eighth straight league win.
Before that Cardiff comeback, The Whites had conceded just ten goals in 21 Championship matches, since then, they have conceded 19 in their last 19 halves of football, picking up just nine points along the way. Their two wins during that spell have been by the odd goal in nine at Birmingham City and the odd goal in five at home to Millwall.
Despite their poor recent run, Marcelo Bielsa's side do still go into tonight's game in second-place and have the second-best defensive record in the division.
Marcelo Bielsa retired at the age of 25 after a playing career with the likes of Newell's Old Boys and Instituto in the late 1970s. He worked with the youth set-up at Newell's for most of the 1980s before taking the main job in 1990. Bielsa spent two years in charge at his former club before, following spells in Mexico and back in Argentina, he moved to Europe in 1998.
He had a brief spell as Espanyol manager before leaving to take on the job of Argentina's national coach, leading them at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and Gold at the 2004 Olympics. From there he went on to manage Chile, taking them to the Last 16 of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Spells at Athletic Bilbao, Marseille, Lazio, and LOSC Lille followed before he was appointed Leeds boss in June 2018 on a two-year deal.
A decision will be made on Pontus Jansson's fitness ahead of tonight's game with Sergi Canos, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Marcus Forss, and Nikos Karelis all definitely out.
Marcelo Bielsa told the press that influential midfielder Kalvin Phillips will start tonight after returning from suspension. Jean-Kevin Augustin could make his first start after making his debut off the bench last time out but Tyler Roberts will be absent with a calf injury.
THOMAS' PRE-MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE
PRE-MATCH BUILD UP
🆚 Hot off the Press: Jonathan Buchan previews tonight's opponents
⚖ Robert Jones to take charge at Griffin Park
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