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Match Previews

Match Preview: Brentford vs Leeds United

All the build-up to tomorrow's season finale

21 May 2022

Our maiden Premier League season comes to a conclusion tomorrow afternoon as we welcome Leeds United to the Brentford Community Stadium. For us, it's a chance to celebrate an incredible campaign and potentially claim a top ten finish while for Leeds it is all about trying to escape from the relegation zone on the final day. Get all the build-up to the game below. 

THE OPPOSITION

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It all comes down to this for Leeds United. The Whites head into tomorrow's game filling the final relegation spot knowing they need to better Burnley's result to have any hope of escape. 

When Jesse Marsch's side beat Watford 3-0 on 9 April, they were nine points clear of the relegation zone and looked to have put a difficult season behind then with a five-game unbeaten run. Fast forward six weeks and they've taken just two points from the last 15 available and now need Newcastle United to do them a favour against Burnley to stay up. 

The Whites' issues this season have been defensive, disciplinary, and injury-related. Only Norwich (79) have conceded more than Leeds' 78, 29 of which came in their six games against Manchester City, Liverpool, and Manchester United, while only Norwich (16.5) and Burnley (16.1) give up more shots per game than Leeds.

On the disciplinary front, Leeds have become the first side in Premier League history to reach 100 yellow cards in a season and have gone down to ten men early in two of their last three matches. 

Leeds have also been hit by injuries to key players. Last season's top-scorer Patrick Bamford has only played nine league games, while Liam Cooper, Kalvin Phillips (above), and Robin Koch have all missed half the season. 

While they only have 40 goals to show for it, Leeds average the eighth-highest number of shots per game (12.7) in the league and also have the sixth-highest possession percentage (51.9%). Raphinha (below) leads their scoring charts with ten, three clear of Jack Harrison. 

THE GAMEPLAN

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When asked for Hot Off The Press how Leeds will line up, The Athletic's Phil Hay, said: "[Jesse Marsch's] preferred system up until now has generally been 4-2-3-1. It has changed quite a lot, though. We saw three at the back against Chelsea last week, though it was almost more like five at the back. He tried in his first game at Leicester to put together a 4-2-2-2 like he used to use at Red Bull Salzburg, but my guess would be that it will be the 4-2-3-1 and he will not deviate too much from that, given that it is a do-or-die game"

TEAM NEWS

Thomas Frank has ruled out Zanka (adductor), Ethan Pinnock (hamstring) and Saman Ghoddos (ankle) while Frank Onyeka (ankle) could return.  

Leeds have a number of issues ahead of tomorrow. Stuart Dallas (leg), Luke Ayling (knee), Tyler Roberts (hamstring), Adam Forshaw (knee), Crysencio Summerville (ankle), and Dan James (suspended) are all out. Patrick Bamford (foot), however, could make his return. 

MATCH STATS

  • Leeds United have lost just one of their last six league matches against Brentford (W2 D3), with the reverse fixture in December this season ending in a 2-2 draw.
  • Brentford are unbeaten in their last 10 home league encounters with Leeds (W6 D4) since a 2-1 loss in August 1950.
  • Leeds have lost their final league match in only one of their 13 Premier League campaigns (W5 D7), going down 1-0 at Chelsea in their relegation season of 2003/04.
  • No player has scored more non-penalty goals in the Premier League for Brentford this season than Yoane Wissa (seven). He is the fifth Congolese player to produce as many as seven goals in a single Premier League campaign, with none of the previous four scoring more.

THE MANAGER

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Jesse Marsch played 14 seasons as a midfielder in Major League Soccer with D.C. United, Chicago Fire, and Chivas USA, winning three league titles and four U.S. Open Cup titles, as well as earning two caps for the United States national team.

In 2010, Marsch retired to became a coach, first serving as an assistant with the USMNT that reached the last 16 of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. He then became the inaugural head coach of the Montreal Impact upon its entry to MLS in 2012. In 2015, Marsch was hired as head coach of the New York Red Bulls. In his first year coaching the team, the Red Bulls won the Supporters' Shield and Marsch was named MLS Coach of the Year. Marsch holds the record for most wins by a coach in franchise history.

In 2018, Marsch was appointed assistant coach at RB Leipzig under Ralf Rangnick; the team finished third in the league and was runner-up in the German Cup. The following season, Marsch was appointed as Head Coach of Red Bull Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga. He led the club to a league and cup double in two consecutive seasons, as Salzburg made successive Champions League group stage appearances for the first time in club history. He returned to RB Leipzig as Head Coach for the 2021–22 season, leaving by mutual consent in December and joining Leeds United in February.

THE OPPOSITION VIEW

Jesse Marsch told leedsunited.com, "They’re good against the ball and in good in pressing moments, but they also have really good movements when they have the ball. Eriksen is a key for them, he’s had an incredibly positive impact on their team since he’s got healthy again, which is obviously a great story in football. One thing you know about them is set piece situations, they’re very creative, they have dynamic players, Eriksen puts very good balls in and they have a lot of variants in what they do. We’ve prepared our team – today was a set piece day so we worked entirely on video and on the pitch making sure we know what we want those moments to look like"

LAST TIME OUT

THE OFFICIALS

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Referee: Paul Tierney

Assistant Referees: Lee Betts and Neil Davies

Fourth Official: Robert Jones

Video Assistant Referee: John Brooks

Additional Video Assistant Referee: Sian Massey-Ellis

Leeds United 2021/22

456 fouls – Most in Premier League

100 yellow cards – Most in Premier League 

3 red cards – Third-most in Premier League

MATCHDAY INFO

Pre-Match at the Leeds game, we will welcome some of our season ticket holders who were cheering the Bees on back in 1946/47 – the last time Brentford played in the top-flight of English football. 75 years on and they are still with us. 

HOW TO FOLLOW

Tomorrow's game is live on Sky Sports and via the Premier League's broadcast partners. Click here to see if it is on where you are

There's also live commentary on BeesPlayer as Karleigh Osborne and, former Leeds player, Jonathan Douglas joins Mark Burridge.

Wherever you are around the globe, you can always keep across the action on our Twitter and Instagram feeds.


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