This weekend’s Premier League action gets underway at Elland Road this Friday night, with West Ham United meeting Leeds United for the first time in eight years.
Whilst both teams head into Friday night’s Premier League game on the back of defeats, both managers would be satisfied with their teams’ starts to the season.
Marcelo Bielsa guided Leeds to promotion to the Premier League last season, after a 16-year absence from the top flight of English football. Currently 14th in the table, with an eight point buffer over the bottom three, the charismatic Argentinian coach will be confident of keeping Leeds in the big time, which would have been their target.
Meanwhile, West Ham United manager David Moyes will feel his side has performed beyond expectations, despite an incredibly tough run of fixtures to start their campaign.
However, Moyes will be well aware of the challenge facing his Irons side in Yorkshire this Friday. It is now more than 20 years since West Ham last won at Elland Road, and the Hammers have not won any of the nine subsequent meetings – home or away.
Bielsa will have his own doubts going into this game, though. Leeds have won just one of their five home games this season, registering just six goals at Elland Road so far.
Both sides have a number of injury concerns heading into this fixture, and Bielsa surprised the media attending Wednesday’s pre-match press conference in naming his starting eleven as: Ilan Meslier; Stuart Dallas, Luke Ayling, Liam Cooper, Ezgjan Alioski; Kelvin Phillips, Mateusz Klich, Rodrigo Moreno; Raphinha, Patrick Bamford and Jack Harrison.
Moyes admitted that Friday will come too soon for Michail Antonio, Andrei Yarmolenko and Ryan Fredericks, so West Ham look likely to name an unchanged starting eleven.