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Premier League Matchweek 12 preview: Leeds United vs. West Ham United (20:00h. GMT; 21:00h. CET) - Team news, lineups

West Ham United square off against Leeds United on Friday evening looking to strengthen their position in the top half of the Premier League standings.

The home side, who are in 14th place, head into the contest at Elland Road sitting just three points adrift of their opponents.

Match preview

You will struggle to find many people who have not been impressed by Leeds this season, particularly in fixtures against the bigger clubs in the top flight.

However, a 14-point haul from 11 matches would have been regarded as the bare minimum after the level of investment during the summer, and it leaves Marcelo Bielsa having to demand further improvement.

One win and three defeats have been recorded from their last five outings, the most recent setback coming after taking an early lead against Chelsea on Saturday evening.

There was no shame in eventually losing out to one of the form teams in European football, but Leeds would have been disappointed to have not earned at least a share of the spoils at Stamford Bridge.

While Patrick Bamford continued his excellent scoring record for the campaign in West London, Leeds must find a solution to their inconsistent backline now that Robin Koch has been ruled out in the long term with a knee injury.

From West Ham's perspective, David Moyes would have required a few days to get over the defeat to Manchester United, one which occurred after their opponents netted an equaliser which should have been ruled out.

Although all clubs will feel aggrieved at some point throughout the season, Moyes will be frustrated that an opportunity to extend the club's winning streak to four matches was squandered.

The result could have been different had the Hammers showed more of a ruthless streak during the opening 45 minutes at the London Stadium, something which has been missing in the final third for four matches.

With Leeds possessing the third-worst defensive record in the division, Moyes's side should not be short of chances to redeem themselves in that area of the pitch.

That said, after being fortunate to edge out Aston Villa and conceding three quick goals to United, more focus arguably needs to be placed on keeping things tight at the back.

Leeds United Premier League form: WLLDWL

West Ham United Premier League form: DLWWWL

Team News

Moyes may finally give a start to summer signing Said Benrahma, who could replace Pablo Fornals in the final third.

With Michail Antonio continuing to struggle with a hamstring injury, Sebastien Haller is expected to remain in the starting lineup.

Bielsa made the decision to name his starting lineup in Wednesday's press conference, revealing that Luke Ayling would feature at centre-back and Rodrigo Moreno in a creative role further forward.

As well as Koch being ruled out until next year, fellow defender Diego Llorente will be sidelined for at least two weeks.

Leeds United possible starting lineup:
Meslier; Dallas, Ayling, Cooper, Alioski; Phillips; Raphinha, Klich, Rodrigo, Harrison; Bamford

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Fabianski; Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Coufal, Rice, Soucek, Masuaku; Bowen, Haller, Benrahma

Source: Sports Mole / Darren Plant 

 

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