Preview: Brentford vs. Leeds United – prediction, team news, lineups – Sports Mole

Leeds United have a chance to capture their first road match of the Premier League season when they return to Brentford Community Stadium to face the Bees on Saturday.

Two points currently separate these sides, who met on the final day of the 2021-22 campaign, with the Peacocks scoring in injury time to win 2-1, enabling them to remain in the top flight.


Match preview

Brentford boss Thomas Frank and Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha on August 30, 2022.© Reuters

In a match with few chances but plenty of intrigue and late drama, Brentford made some magic happen in the nick of time against Crystal Palace, coming back to earn a 1-1 draw for a second league match running.

Saving their best for last and showing a lot of resilience have become two trademarks synonymous with the Bees in the early going of this campaign.

Brentford have conceded first in four of their five EPL affairs in 2022-23, yet still earning three draws from a losing position in the second half.

They have avoided defeat in five of their last eight Premier League encounters when conceding the opener, which is one better than they achieved in their first 20 matches of this competition (two wins, two losses, 16 defeats).

While they have become accustomed to coming from behind, this team know how to hang onto a lead, winning eight straight EPL contests when scoring first and without a defeat in this competition when drawing first blood.

Thomas Frank has made some savvy tactical changes which have helped them climb back into matches this season, as the equalising goal in all three of their draws have come from a substitute.

In their last seven home outings, Brentford have only suffered one defeat, conceding a total of three goals over that stretch, though that one loss came at home to Leeds, who they have never beaten in Premier League play.

Jack Harrison in action for Leeds United on August 21, 2022© Reuters

The first full season under Jesse Marsch has begun positively for the team from Elland Road, who have eight points from their opening five league fixtures, five more than they had at this point last season under Marcelo Bielsa.

Under their new boss, the Peacocks have shifted to a zonal pressing system rather than playing man-to-man, and early on this season, that approach seems to have allowed this team to be a lot fitter and energetic in the latter stages of a game.

Leeds have also looked sharper on the back end under their current system, conceding a goal or fewer in four league fixtures thus far.

Dating back to their previous EPL campaign, this team have only claimed victory in one of their last five top-flight encounters away from home.

Some late heroics enabled the Whites to earn four points against Brentford last season, as they scored a goal in stoppage time to draw them 2-2 at Elland Road in December of last year, before notching a 94th-minute winner at the Brentford Community Stadium in May.

One thing the Peacocks are not afraid of is being physical, conceding more fouls than any other side in the Premier League this season (65), committing at least 10 in each of their five games.

Brentford Premier League form:

Brentford form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D

Leeds United Premier League form:

Leeds United form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D


Team News

Vitaly Janelt in action for Brentford on August 27, 2022© Reuters

Yoane Wissa replaced Brentford midfielder Mathias Jensen with just over 10 minutes to play at Selhurst Park, as the Congolese international headed home a pinpoint cross from Vitaly Janelt for his first of the campaign, putting him one back of Ivan Toney and Josh Dasilva for the team lead (two).

The Bees made a pair of signings this week, bringing in Edson Pruti and Charlie Farr, while they loaned Joel Valencia to De Graafschap in the Dutch second division.

They also loaned Halil Dervisoglu to Burnley for the remainder of the campaign, while Luka Racic returned to his native Denmark after signing with SonderjyskE for an undisclosed fee.

Kristoffer Ajer is still not fully fit, Ethan Pinnock remains out with a knee injury, Sergi Canos could soon be back from his hamstring strain and Pontus Jansson continues to be a doubt because of a foot injury.

Jack Harrison put home the winner in this exact fixture last season, helping Leeds remain in the top flight, with Luis Sinisterra netting the equaliser in their 1-1 draw with Everton on Tuesday, his first of the campaign.

Patrick Bamford levelled their first match against the Bees last season, though the 28-year-old is still searching for his first of 2022-23.

Rodrigo is tied with Harry Kane and Wilfried Zaha for third in Premier goals this season, tallying four thus far, Harrison is in a four-way for most assists alongside Gabriel Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne and Roberto Firmino, while goalkeeper Illan Meslier has one clean sheet.

Leeds made a few transfers this week, loaning Polish midfielder Mateusz Bogusz to Ibiza in the Spanish second division, Daniel James has joined Fulham on loan for the remainder of the season and the club signed Italian striker Wilfried Gnonto to a five-year deal from FC Zurich in the Swiss Super League for an undisclosed fee.

The Peacocks could be missing numerous key players on Saturday, with Stuart Dallas (broken leg), Luke Ayling (meniscus), Junior Firpo (knee), Liam Cooper (calf) and Rodrigo (shoulder) all sitting out of their previous encounter through injury.

Brentford possible starting lineup:
Raya; Henry, Mee, Jorgensen, Roerslev; Jensen, Janelt, Dasilva; Lewis-Potter, Toney, Wissa

Leeds United possible starting lineup:
Meslier; Kristensen, Koch, Llorente, Struijk; Adams, Roca; Sinisterra, Aaronson, Harrison; Bamford


SM words green background

We say: Brentford 1-1 Leeds United

Each side have earned a convincing victory against a Big Six club this season, with the Bees blanking Man United 4-0, while the Peacocks dropped Chelsea 3-0.

More often than not, though, neither team have been able to put away matches when given the opportunity, so we expect a low-scoring affair between two clubs who have been resilient through the early portion of the season.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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