Not for the first time this season, Leeds face a ‘must-win game’ against Brentford

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Derby Telegraph

Leeds United’s slump of late has made Saturday’s game away at Brentford a must-win if the Whites are to maintain their presence in and around the top-six.

Already this season Leeds have gone into games touted as ‘must-wins,’ mainly due to the various circumstances they’ve found themselves in this year.

Birmingham City at home was a game that needed winning so that Leeds could capture top-spot, Ipswich was a game that needed winning, so Leeds could get back to winning ways after going two matches without a victory.

After that 3-2 win against the Tractor Boys however, the Whites haven’t been the same side that were outclassing and outthinking teams at the start of the season.

Bar an impressive display away against Bristol City, head coach Thomas Christiansen has had six losses inflicted on him.

It’s hard to believe the form of the Yorkshiremen has dipped so much from the side that had conceded just five goals prior to the 3-1 loss against Cardiff City which proved to be the catalyst of Leeds’s bad form.

Aston Villa’s win against Preston on Wednesday meant the Whites dropped out of the play-off places and if they are to recapture the form needed to challenge for the Premier League this season, then a special and much-improved performance is required against Brentford.

Team News

Yet another fixture selected for Sky coverage on Saturday evening, and it will be one that sees Swiss fan favourite Gaetano Berardi available for selection again after he was dismissed for a headbutt in United’s last league win.

Berardi, who is a right-back by trade, can deputise at left-back and could return to that spot should Thomas Christiansen opt to switch the attack-minded Stuart Dallas from that position after he covered the left side of defence during Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat against Derby County.

Academy product Kalvin Phillips will also return to Saturday’s squad after serving a one-match ban as a result of the midfielder picking up his fifth booking of the campaign.

Liam Cooper suffered from a dead leg against Sheffield United and was omitted from the side that lost against Derby in midweek; which could mean he will be included for Saturday’s game.

Celeb Ekuban hasn’t featured for Leeds since he limped off during the 2-0 win against Sunderland and despite starting full training again following a broken bone in his foot, Saturday may come too soon for the Ghanaian.

Past meetings

1935 was the first time a Leeds side had played at Griffin Park and ever since then, they have been relatively unsuccessful at taking all three points away from Brentford.

The Whites have tallied just three wins when travelling to Brentford in their history, and the most recent four visits to London have been no different.

The Whites have only managed two points from their last four away encounters with two losses and two draws.

 

Stats provided by – Kickoff.co.uk

Last season’s 2-0 defeat against the Bees was a very flattering score-line with the home side failing to capitalise on their dominance against a very lacklustre Leeds side.

Thomas Christiansen and his men will have to write their own bit of history over the weekend as they look to end their dogged form of late and keep their quest for a top-six finish intact.