Jesse Marsch’s men sit third in the standings after stunning Chelsea with a 3-0 victory at Elland Road last weekend, making it two wins and one draw from their opening four matches.
The Seagulls too remain unbeaten, so the Yorkshire giants are in for a tricky encounter, particularly with leading striker Patrick Bamford likely to miss out through injury.
Marsch will surely be tempted to stick with a winning lineup, one that saw Daniel James return to the side but that could be a mistake waiting to happen as the Wales international ought to be benched in favour of someone like Luis Sinisterra, who is yet to make his full starting debut.
The 24-year-old speedster, who cost the Whites around £25m from Manchester United last summer, was cut a passenger in that win over the Blues before he was hauled off in the 70th minute for the aforementioned Colombian.
James struggled to have any footing in the match, managing only six successful passes and 24 touches throughout his time on the pitch, as per SofaScore, which was the fewest of anyone to start. Even substitute Adam Forshaw managed the same number of passes in a 29-minute cameo.
He was wasteful in possession too as only 50% of his 12 passing attempts were accurate, whilst he only managed to provide one accurate cross from three attempts. Furthermore, he lost possession nine times and lost four of his seven duels in an awfully lightweight manner.
We certainly witnessed some of the exact reasons why ex-Tottenham Hotspur striker Darren Bent once dubbed him “headless“.
Marsch’s three other attackers – Rodrigo, Jack Harrison and Brenden Aaronson – all found themselves on the scoresheet, by contrast.
That has largely been the story of James’ time at Elland Road. He is yet to provide an attacking contribution this campaign, whilst in 2021/22, the Welshman found himself without a goal in his last 14 appearances in a time that Leeds, who were battling relegation, needed him most.
As such, the American head coach must look to axe him from the starting XI this afternoon. He’ll offer nothing against the Seagulls, who have conceded just one goal from their opening trio of games – the lowest in the English top-flight – so far.
AND in other news, Marsch handed double injury boost…