Leeds United will need to end a near 20-year hoodoo if they are to end their poor run of form in the Premier League this afternoon.
The Whites welcome table-topping Arsenal to Elland Road later today, a side they have not defeated since 2003 and one that in more recent times has completely dominated them on the pitch.
Jesse Marsch is facing plenty of selection dilemmas as his side are winless in five outings, the last coming at Stamford Bridge in late August, where the Yorkshire giants stunned Chelsea with a 3-0 victory.
After a 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace last weekend, it will be interesting to see if the American head coach tinkers with his starting lineup at all, so here’s what we are predicting ahead of kick-off…
Illan Meslier is Leeds’ no.1 and nothing should change there. However, his backline could see the first switch as vice-captain Luke Ayling takes the place of Rasmus Kristensen at right-back.
The £35k-per-week star joins fellow stalwart and captain Liam Cooper, as well as Robin Koch and Pascal Struijk – favoured over Junior Firpo at left-back – in defence.
Ex-Gunners graduate Ayling hasn’t started a Premier League fixture since the red card incident in this very fixture last season that saw him branded as “disgusting” and as an “idiot” by Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher, as well as “disgraceful” by talkSPORT’s Alex Crook.
A two-man midfield base of Marc Roca and Tyler Adams isn’t going to change anytime soon, especially with Adam Forshaw on the treatment table but further up the pitch, the former RB Salzburg boss has a tough call to make.
Luis Sinisterra is available once again after suspension, so he could come straight back in on the right flank in the second and final change from last Sunday. This would cause a little shuffle as it means Brenden Aaronson returns to a central role, with Rodrigo reverting back to his position as a no.9.
Jack Harrison also keeps his place on the left flank, meaning it’s Patrick Bamford who makes way upfront after a “rusty” display against the Eagles.
Predicted Leeds XI (4-2-3-1): Meslier; Struijk, Cooper, Koch, Ayling; Roca, Adams; Harrison, Aaronson, Sinisterra; Rodrigo