Leeds United will seek to end their home hoodoo as Watford come calling in their EFL Championship clash this Saturday.

Daniel Farke’s Leeds United will be aiming to win their first home league game in nine attempts when they welcome Watford to Elland Road on Saturday night.

The Peacocks are currently on a five-game unbeaten run in the Championship, one which has helped them steady a poor start to the campaign. However, they have won just two games, drawing four and losing the other in the process.

None of those wins have come at Elland Road, a venue that has brought Leeds little joy of late. Given that Watford have now gone 11 away league games without a win, Farke and his men will not have a better opportunity to end their hoodoo.

The Hornets are a mere point behind Leeds in the standings and can overtake them should they secure a win. A win on Saturday will give either side a shot at moving closer to the playoff spots.

Leeds will be keen to get back to the Premier League following their relegation last season. With injured players returning, Farke will get a major boost and will hope to see his side kick on. Having had to hold on last time around with just ten men against Hull City will give Leeds confidence heading into the weekend’s game.

Watford are coming off a 2-2 draw against West Bromwich Albion and will be hoping to build upon their 11th-spot finish from last season. A win at Elland Road could prove to be a pivotal result in the long run, giving them a chance to push on and get themselves into contention for promotion. The Hard Tackle looks at how both sides could line up on Sunday and what tactics they might employ.

Team News & Tactics

Leeds United

The home side welcomed back skipper Liam Cooper against Hull City and now appear set to bring him back into the starting XI. Tottenham Hotspur loanee Joe Rodon is suspended following his sending-off at the MKM Stadium in midweek.

Cooper’s return further reduces Leeds’ injury list, limiting it to just Junior Firpo, Stuart Dallas and Patrick Bamford. This boosts the options at Daniel Farke’s disposal and will give him strength in depth heading into tougher challenges this season.

Stuart Dallas has resumed training but is unlikely to be thrown into the playing Xi this weekend. More so, Wilfried Gnonto has also injured his Despite the midweek stalemate, Farke is expected to retain the 4-2-3-1 formation this weekend. Illan Meslier is certain to start in goal and should be protected by the back four of Luke Ayling, Liam Cooper, Pascal Struijk and Sam Byram who made his 150th appearance for the club against Hull.

Archie Gray and Ethan Ampadu will retain their spots in the double pivot and will be tasked with the key job of holding the fort in the middle of the park. Crysencio Summerville and Daniel James should provide the width with Joel Piroe donning the number 10 role once again. Georginio Rutter fired a blank at the MKM Stadium but is expected to retain his spot at the head of the Leeds attack.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Meslier; Ayling, Cooper, Struijk, Shackleton; Gray, Ampadu; Summerville, Piroe, James; Rutter

Leeds United vs Watford Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats.


The Hornets finished a poor 11th last season and are not among the favourites to secure promotion back to the Premier League this season. However, a strong run of results will aid their cause in making a playoff spot.

A win on Saturday will see help Watford leaplog Leeds United in the standings as the Championship table starts to take shape. They will have to take to the field without new signing Rhys Healey. But Vakoun Issouf Bayo is now back in contention to feature.

A 4-3-3 appears to be the way to go on the night, with Daniel Bachmann in goal. He should be protected by the back four of Jeremy Ngakia, Ryan Porteous, Wesley Hoedt and James Morris.

Francisco Sierralta should hold the fort in the middle of the park, with Imran Louza and Ismael Kone to flank him in the middle of the park. Mileta Rajovic is expected to lead the line in the final third, with Tom Ince and Matheus Martins providing the width.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Bachmann; Ngakia, Porteous, Hoedt, Morris; Louza, Sierralta, Kone; Ince, Rajovic, Martins

Bachmann; Ngakia, Porteous, Hoedt, Morris; Louza, Sierralta, Kone; Ince, Rajovic, Martins.

Key Stats

  • A win on Saturday will see Leeds United win three league games against Watford for the first time in their history.
  • Watford have lost just one of their last nine Championship games against Leeds United, all the way back in 2012/13.
  • This is Leeds United’s sixth consecutive league game against Watford under a different manager.
  • Watford are winless in their last 11 away games in the league. During this abject run, they have drawn five and lost the remaining six.
  • Leeds United are winless in their last eight home games in the league. This is their third-worst run in this category.

Player to Watch

Liam Cooper

Embed from Getty Images

The veteran defender’s return should give Leed a leader in the defence, following recent failings at the back. With Joe Rodon suspended, Cooper’s return could not have come at a better time.

While he might still be a little rusty, the veteran makes a huge difference with his presence at the back. His ability to read danger and also organise the players around him could make a huge difference in close-fought matches.


Leeds United 2-0 Watford

Despite not much separating the teams in the table, Leeds United are the far superior side and will be keen to finally end their winless streak at home. They cannot afford to drop points, especially at Elland Road. And given Watford’s abject away record, there is no better time than now to leave a mark.

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