Relegation threatened West Bromwich Albion will host lower mid-tabled Leeds United at the Hawthorns on Tuesday as the two newly-promoted sides face each other in their final fixture for 2020.
West Brom's fortunes showed no immediate turnaround with the managerial change, as they lost their opening game under new boss Sam Allardyce. But the Baggies seem to be adapting to Big Sam's philosophy when they held league leaders Liverpool to a 1-1 draw away from home on Sunday.
After the 6-2 hammering at Old Trafford, Leeds United returned to winning ways at home against Burnley on Sunday. However, it was far from a convincing performance by Marcelo Bielsa's boys at the Elland Road.
In stark contrast to their adventurous and intense playing style, Leeds struggled throughout the second half to get on the ball as the opposition took control. But their back three stood firm not allowing Burnley to equalize and made sure Patrick Bamford's early goal from a penalty-kick was enough to see The Whites home on the day.
Leeds now sit on 20 points from 15 games and have an opportunity to begin the New Year in the top half of the table with a win on Tuesday.
West Bromwich Albion vs Leeds United Head-to-Head
West Bromwich Albion and Leeds faced each other in the Premier League in only one previous season; in 2002-03 when Leeds won one of the games between the two sides while the other ended in a draw.
Recently, the two clubs played together in the Championship for the previous two seaons when Leeds won two of the four games between them, with West Brom winning one while the most recent fixture ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
West Brom form guide: D-L-D-L-L
Leeds United form guide: W-L-W-L-L
West Bromwich Albion vs Leeds United Team News
Midfielder Jake Livermore will be unavailable for West Bromwich Albion as he serves the second of his three-game suspension for being shown a straight red card against Aston Villa.
Conor Townsend remains ruled out with a knee injury while Hal Robson-Kanu and Kyle Bartley are also unlikely to be back before the New Year.
Injured: Conor Townsend
Doubtful: Kyle Bartlet, Hal Robson-Kanu
Suspended: Jake Livermore
Leeds United played against Burnley with a back-three consisting of all makeshift centre-backs as captain Liam Cooper and new signings Robin Koch and Diego Llorente were all out injured. Only Cooper can be expected to be back in training before Tuesday although it is unlikely that he will be deemed fit enough to start.
Injuries: Gaetano Berardi, Adam Forshaw, Robin Koch, Diego Llorente
Doubtful: Liam Cooper
West Bromwich Albion vs Leeds United Predicted Line-up
West Bromwich Albion Predicted XI (4-5-1): Sam Johnstone; Darnell Furlong, Semi Ajayi, Dara O'Shea, Kieran Gibbs; Matheus Pereira, Matt Phillips, Romaine Sawyers, Connor Gallagher, Grady Diangana; Karlan Grant
Leeds United Predicted XI (3-3-3-1): Ilian Meslier; Luke Ayling, Kalvin Phillips, Pascal Struijk; Stuart Dallas, Matuesz Klich, Ezgjan Alioski; Raphinha, Rodrigo, Jack Harrison; Patrick Bamford
West Bromwich Albion vs Leeds United Prediction
West Brom players seem to be familiarizing to Sam Allardyce's trademark tactics as seen in their trip to Anfield where they sat back and did not allow Liverpool to create too many clear chances to score.
Rather, West Brom had three shots on target compared to Liverpool's two despite having only 21% of ball possession.
Leeds United seemed to deflect from Marcelo Bielsa's enthralling playing style as they had a lot of defensive work to do against Burnley. However, that could be pinned down to fatigue among their players from having played too many games.
Best believe we would see the Leeds we have come to know on Thursday. Leeds United's attacking prowess could give them the edge.
Prediction: West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Leeds UnitedPublished 28 Dec 2020, 11:10 IST