Leeds United v Swansea City preview: Who will
claim the early advantage in table-topping clash?
George Byers and Patrick Bamford clash when the sides met in The Championship at Elland Road on February 13
(Photo by Alex Dodd/Getty Images)

The Sky Bet Championship table is beginning to take shape, with favourites staking their claim, and strugglers falling adrift.

All 100% records are now gone in the EFL, with the highest points total in the second tier being 13. This tally of four wins and a draw is currently held by Leeds United and Swansea City, two sides that meet at Elland Road on Saturday.

Story behind the game

Leeds will be looking to recover from disappointment in midweek. Marcelo Bielsa's side went out of the EFL Cup on penalties to Stoke City, despite fighting back from two goals down. United have won their last three league games however, without conceding a single goal.

Meanwhile, visitors Swansea will be aiming for their sixth straight win, a start that few would have predicted under new boss Steve Cooper. With City's most recent result seeing them thrash League Two side Cambridge United 6-0.

These opponents met in The Championship last season as Leeds narrowly missed out on promotion. The play-off semi-finalists managed to take 4 points off the Swans, winning 2-1 at home, and drawing 2-2 at The Liberty Stadium.

Last terms results means the away side will be looking for their first victory over the Yorkshire outfit since 2011, when then won promotion to the Premier League.

The winner of this tie will finish the weekend at the summit of the EFL, so expect a hugely entertaining fixture, in which both sides will no doubt be going for all three points.

Team news

Leeds will be without key players in the form of Luke Ayling and Tyler Roberts, who both continue their recovery from injury lay-offs. Otherwise, Bielsa will have a fully fit squad at his disposal. Youngster Eddie Nketiah may start after scoring in their last two home games.

Cooper will have a selection headache following the outstanding performance in midweek, as new signing Kristoffer Peterson will be hoping for a start after opening the scoring against Cambridge. Injury wise, Aldo Kalulu remains a concern with his ankle issue.

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Predicted Line-up

Leeds United:

(4-4-2) Casilla, Berardi, White, Phillips, Dallas, Klich, Forshaw, Alioski, Hernandez, Bamford, Nketiah.

Swansea City:

(4-2-3-1) Woodman, Roberts, van der Hoorn, Rodon, Naughton, Carroll, Grimes, Ayew, Celina, Dhanda, Baston.

Key Clashes

Eddie Nketiah vs Mike van der Hoorn

One of the most exciting Championship signings made in the summer was that of young Arsenal prospect Eddie Nketiah, who promised a wealth of talent when he arrived at Elland Road. He has so far delivered on those promises, having scored three goals in four appearances so far.

Tasked with keeping him quiet on Saturday will be stalwart centre-back Mike van der Hoorn, who is now into his fourth year at the Welsh club. He'll be hoping to help his side to their third straight clean sheet, as part of a defence that has only conceded once away from home.

Kalvin Phillips vs Bersant Celina

A player that can be described as Leeds through and through is defensive midfielder and more recently centre-back Kalvin Phillips, he has been part of the club's set up since he was 14 years old. The Leeds born defender, who is a mainstay in the first-team, will come up against arguably Swansea's biggest threat in Bersant Celina. The Kosovo international scored in his sides win over Birmingham City last weekend, and will be keen to get on the scoresheet once more.

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What the managers have said

Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa was full of praise for Saturday's opponents in his pre-match press conference. Noting their strong start and how tough a side he expects them to be. He said:

“They are showing a good level. They have a very clear idea of how to play. They are solid. They know how to defend and attack, they have good links in their transitions.

“I am not surprised by their start. The results are deserved.

“They continued a squad from the previous year. Arrives some players with high prestige in the competition.”

His counterpart Steve Cooper is yet to speak on their upcoming fixture. However, attacker Peterson has spoken to the club's media about the game, insisting the team is ready. He said:

“We're having a good run and hope that will continue.

“Every single player in the squad has shown that they want to be involved in this team. It's not the easiest squad to get into at the moment.

“I think we should now approach the weekend's match against Leeds with a lot of confidence.”

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