Leeds United vs Derby County preview: United aiming for play-off revenge on struggling Rams
Jayden Bogle is challenged by Jack Harrison  during the Sky Bet Championship Play-off semi final second leg match between Leeds United and Derby County at Elland Road on May 15, 2019. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Leeds United vs Derby County preview: United aiming for play-off revenge on struggling Rams

Leeds United host Derby County at Elland Road on Saturday, with the top-of-the-table side overwhelming favourites and planning to make up for their play-off semi-final defeat with victory.

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Alex Bullions

High-flying Leeds United (1st) host Phillip Cocu's struggling Derby County side (19th), with the aim of exacting revenge on the Rams for derailing their promotion ambitions last season.

Then under the guidance of current Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, the Midlands side overturned a 1-0 loss at Pride Park in May with a stunning 4-2 triumph in Yorkshire to reach the play-off final, where they lost out to Aston Villa.

However, the visitors haven’t looked the force they were last term, having failed to win since the opening weekend of the season and crashing out of the League Cup to fierce rivals Nottingham Forest.

Leeds, on the other hand, look the polar opposite. United are top of the league, losing just once and defeating promotion candidates Brentford and Bristol City along the way.

Patrick Bamford leads the way in goalscoring for the hosts with four to his name thus far, with Pablo Hernandez and Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah behind on two each. Those three combined have scored more goals than Derby's seven this campaign, though Martyn Waghorn is in firing form with three of those.

Spygate

One of the more infamous moments of the last EFL Championship season was Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa's admission that he'd sent spies to watch over Derby's training sessions in the lead up to their 2-0 win in January. 

This didn't just concern the Rams, but in fact every club in the division who the Argentine's associates had apparently watched from afar.

With the added flair of the play-off semi-final drama, this has created an added sense of rivalry between the two and sparked serious debate amongst fans of the sport.

Team News

Adam Forshaw missed Leeds' win over Barnsley as well as Luke Ayling who picked up vital minutes for the U23s this week.

Derby won't have Tom Lawrence for the game after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season already against Cardiff City, whilst Jayden Bogle will also miss out through injury.

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Head-to-head

Leeds won both league games and the first leg of the play-off semi-final last term, yet the return game at Elland Road put Derby in better stead for promotion.

The Rams haven't won a game against the Yorkshire side in the regular season since October 2017.

Predicted Lineups

Leeds: Casilla, Dallas, White, Cooper, Alioski, Hernandez, Forshaw, Phillips, Klich, Harrison, Bamford.

Derby: Roos, Lowe, Keogh, Clarke, Malone, Huddlestone, Bielik, Waghorn, Holmes, Josefzoon, Marriott.

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