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First Team

Premier League Preview: Leeds United

A trip to Elland Road for The Bees after just a year away

24 June 2021

Brentford suffered defeat to Fulham in the Play-Off Final when Leeds were promoted in 2020. After a year away, The Bees will join United at the top table of English football.

2020/21 REPORT

League Position: 9th

Top League Goalscorer: Patrick Bamford (17)

Stadium: Elland Road, Beeston, Leeds, England, LS11 0ES

Capacity: 37,750

United were the surprise package last season in the top-flight. From their opening game, a 4-3 defeat to Liverpool, they looked like they weren't in the Premier League as cannon fodder for the big guns. They went about their task in style, getting some big results against Arsenal, Manchester City, Everton and Spurs.

In fact, the eventual champions only took a single point off Leeds last term. A strong finish, seven wins of the final 10 games, saw them complete their first top tier season since 2004 just three points away from European qualification. It tells you a lot when the two teams above them were Arsenal and Tottenham. 

Both of their cup campaigns ended in defeat after just one game. In the Carabao Cup, The Whites were beaten by eventual League One champions Hull City on penalties. In the Emirates FA Cup, they were beaten 3-0 by League Two club Crawley Town with former Brentford B fullback Nick Tsaroulla scoring the opener at Broadfield Stadium.

THE MANAGER

Marcelo Bielsa spent five years as a professional player between 1975 and 1980, staying in his home nation of Argentina. He was a defender for Newell's Old Boys, Instituto and Argentino de Rosario but retired aged 25 to focus on coaching.

He started as a youth coach at Old Boys, winning several titles in the early 90s when promoted to the Manager's chair. A brief spell in Mexico was followed by a return to Argentina in 97 to manage Vélez Sarsfield, winning them a league title.

Leeds Manager.jpg

He managed the Argentina national side between 1998 and 2004, getting to the 2002 World Cup and then winning Olympic gold in his final year. He took over the Chile national team in 2007. They underwent some big changes, qualifying for the 2010 World Cup for the first time in two campaigns. They reached the Last 16 that season, losing to Brazil.

He moved back into club football with Athletic Bilbao, taking them to finals of the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Europa League. He then moved to Marseille, Lazio and Lille before arriving at Leeds in 2018.

LAST MEETING

Our last meeting was a 1-1 draw on 11 February 2020 at Griffin Park. A mistake from Kiko Casilla gifted Said Benrahma a goal after 25 minutes but Leeds were level before the break as Liam Cooper scored in the aftermath of a corner-kick. 

Bees: Raya; Dalsgaard, Jeanvier, Pinnock, Henry; Jensen (Fosu 89), Norgaard, Dasilva (Marcondes 63); Mbeumo (Baptiste 89), Watkins, Benrahma

Leeds: Casilla; Ayling, White, Cooper, Dallas; Phillips; Helder Costa, Hernandez, Klich, Harrison; Bamford (Augustin 76)


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