Leeds United vs Liverpool preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted line-ups and ones to watch
Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Liverpool head into Monday nights fixture at Elland Road knowing that the only viable way of making sure Anfield hosts Champions League football next season is to finish in the Premier League's top four. They currently occupy sixth position and Jurgen Klopp's men are fully aware they'll have to put a near-perfect run of games together to have any chance of catching Leicester, West Ham and Chelsea.

The Reds will be looking to bounce-back from Wednesday nights disappointing stalemate against Real Madrid,  a result which saw their hopes of claiming a historic seventh European Cup evaporate.

It was a much improved performance on home soil for Jurgen Klopp's men, something that has become a rarity over the course of 2021. However, The Reds' sub-standard finishing on the night - along with a uninspiring first leg performance - cost them a place in the final four of Europe's premier competition. 

Monday's trip to Yorkshire will be no easy feat for Liverpool as they come up against Marcelo Bielsa, the Premier League's newest tactician.

The Whites head into the contest off the back of three straight league wins, their longest winning streak since their return to the top flight, which included a remarkable victory last time out against the champions-elect, Manchester City. 

Although Bielsa's men have nothing to play for in the final stretch of this grueling league campaign, that certainly won't demise their efforts.  As we've seen over the course of the season Leeds only have one way playing; high intensity, maximum effort and lots of chaos. 

Team news - Liverpool 

Klopp confirmed in Saturday mornings pre-match press conference that there was no new injury concerns ahead of the trip. A sentence that would have been music to the ears of all Liverpool fans, as their campaign has been blighted by injury casualties. 

Liverpool are expected to still be without Curtis Jones (muscle) and Divock Origi (muscle) for Monday's trip, however, the duo could face a late fitness test. The pair are currently sidelined alongside  the club's longer-term absentees; Jordan Henderson (groin), Virgil Van Dijk (ACL),  Joe Gomez (knee) and Joel Matip (ligament) .

Klopp was able to provide some promising updates for his long-term casualties.

"Big step, looks fine when he's running, no real reaction in the knee. It still takes time but he's in a good way, like Virg, Joel, Hendo."

Team news - Leeds United

Leeds will give Raphinha (leg) every chance of making Monday's squad as they continue to asses the impact injury he suffered late on in last weekend's victory at the Etihad. Likewise, his teammate Rodrigo (internal haematoma), who missed Leeds' last outing could feature if deemed fit enough closer to the game.

Bielsa provided an update on the duo in Friday's press conference.

''Raphinha is recovering from a knock that he picked up in the game against City. His evolution we will see in the next couple of days.

''Rodrigo received a knock in his thigh. This knock is an internal haematoma.''

The home side will be without their captain Liam Cooper, as he begins to serve his three match ban for the straight red card he received against Pep Guardiola's men. 

Previous meetings 

Liverpool 4-3 Leeds United (September 2020)

Leeds announced their return  to the Premier League after a 16 year absent with a thrilling opening day contest at Anfield.

A Mohamed Salah hattrick and a Van Dijk header made sure there Liverpool was no opening day blushes for the defending champions. 

The swagger Leeds displayed against Klopp's men attracted huge plaudits, a theme that has continued over the duration of the season. Many pundits have been vocal about their admiration for Bielsa's willingness to stick to his philosophy, regardless of the opposition. 

Leeds United 2-2 Liverpool (February 2004)

The Reds will get a sense of deja-vu when they visit Elland Road for the first time since 2004. On their last visit Gerard Houllier's side found themselves entering the spring months in sixth position, like Klopp's current crop, as they looked to save their season with a late Champions League bid. Goals from Mark Viduka and Eirik Bakke meant Houllier's Champions League chasers had to settle for a share of the points in Yorkshire. 

Ones to watch 

Monday's battle will be one with many sub-plots. But arguably the most entertaining will be the shoot-out the takes place between  Patrick Bamford and Salah.

Bamford has received widespread praise for his performances in a whites shirt this season, something that not many saw coming. Many 'experts', prior to the season, forecasted trouble for Leeds if they were to relay on Bamford as their main goal threat. 

The former Chelsea prodigy has netted 14 times across 31 league matches this season, a tally that has seen his name be placed alongside some of the league's best finishers and even allowed him to have a brief flirt with an England call up. All whilst turning critics into fans.

Klopp was full of praise for the 27-yeard-old in his pre-match media duties. 

"What a player! Before the season I heard on talkSPORT that Leeds need a proper goalscorer, I'm so happy that he could prove people wrong. I don't know him but it's a nice career."

On Monday, he will face up against the league's second top scorer this season, Salah. 

It has been a season full of adversity for Klopp and his men, as they have failed to replicate the consistency of their previous two campaigns.

However, one of the few shining lights of Liverpool's campaign has been the sheer brilliance of Salah, as he has found the net 19 times. It makes of a horrible pastime to imagine where Liverpool would be this season without the Egyptians goals. 

With Harry Kane firing a brace past Liverpool's Merseyside rivals, Everton, on Friday night, moving him two goals ahead of Salah in the Golden Boot race. The Egyptian will be looking to exploit the space Leeds leave in behind on Monday as he looks to add to his tally. 

Predicted line-ups

Leeds United: Meslier; Ayling, Llorente, Koch, Alioski, Phillips, Raphinha, Dallas, Roberts, Costa, Bamford.

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Kabak, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Thiago, Salah, Firmino, Jota.

Where to watch 

The fixture will be televised on Sky Sports at 8pm on Monday 19th of April. 

 

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