Leeds United vs Crystal Palace preview: Patrick Vieira targets return to winning ways
(Photo by Stu Forster - Getty Images)

When Crystal Palace make the 412-mile round trip to Elland Road to face Leeds United on Tuesday night, they will be submerged into a clash where both teams are plotting a return to winning ways.

Marcelo Bielsa's winless run was stretched to three games after their game against Brighton & Hove Albion failed to produce any goals, while Patrick Vieira's upward trajectory took a step back when Aston Villa triumphed 2-1 at Selhurst Park at the weekend.

Naturally, the Eagles will be keen to ensure that their heads don't drop after creative frailties were on display last time out, but for Leeds United, the problems they face are much more pressing.

As the search for an elusive win drags achingly longer, Leeds continue to slip down the Premier League table. Now only able to boast one win from their last six, the Whites sit in 17th, only three points above the dreaded dotted line. 

Without some of their star players for an extended period will not do Leeds' confidence any good - not forgetting to mention that they will be playing a transformed Palace side that have scored two goals in four of their last five away games in the topflight. 

In that imposing run, the Eagles have subdued Manchester City, fought back twice to earn a valuable point at West Ham United and produced a spectacular comeback at the Emirates Stadium against Arsenal. 

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For Crystal Palace and their array of attacking outlets, Tuesday will be a matter of reinstating their free-flowing orchestra, something they missed at the weekend. 

Adjusting to life without James McArthur and Joachim Andersen, along with redeeming Eberechi Eze to his magnum opus, was never going to be an easy task for Patrick Vieira. 

But with a quick turnaround, and a fixture to look ahead to tomorrow night, the Frenchman will be looking for ratification of his teams potential at a wintery Elland Road.

  • Team news

At the core of Marcelo Bielsa's problems is his injury list. Leeds United hardly find any rejoice from being a far cry of their 2020/21 selves, but how they can be expected to be anything but incapacitated when so many of their key players are out.

First and foremost, the Whites are devoid of their attacking fulcrum, with Patrick Bamford reduced to the treatment room. The ENglishman has been out with an ankle injury that he sustained in a 1-1 draw against Newcastle United on September 17th. 

Notching 24 goal involvements in the Premier League last season, Bamford is key to the way his team play, being a focal point in the attacking transitions, and his absence has been felt.

Elsewhere, Robin Koch and Luke Ayling remain unavailable for selection due to injuries, with the latter stepping up his recovery, preparing to make an appearance for the under-23s in their next outing.

Raphinha and Rodrigo played the full 90 minutes against Brighton at the weekend, so it would be no surprise if Bielsa was to consider other options amid the quick turnaround, potentially giving Tyler Roberts some minutes. 

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As for Crystal Palace, Joachim Andersen missed the Aston Villa game with a thigh strain and is likely to sit out again, while James McArthur is absent for the same reason.

Nathan Ferguson has begun his final steps to recovery, now starting work with the first-team, but the Leeds game will come too soon to see him make a cameo in the matchday squad. 

Furthermore, Eberechi Eze took his first few strides in the first-team at the weekend, with the creative livewire getting much needed minutes under his belt. The fan favourite is still perhaps a game or two away from a start, but is pushing for a return. 

Finally, Michael Olise and Luka Milivojevic failed to catch the imagination of the Selhurst Park crowd against Villa, so starts for Will Hughes and Odsonne Edouard may also be on the cards.

  • Predicted lineups

Leeds United: Meslier; Llorente, Strujik, Cooper, Firpo; Phillips; Raphinha, Roberts, Dallas, Harrison; James

Crystal Palace: Guaita; Ward, Tomkins, Guehi, Mitchell; Hughes, Kouyate, Gallagher; Edouard, Benteke, Zaha

  • How to watch

The match will kick off on Tuesday 30th November at 20:15pm GMT. It is available to watch on Amazon Prime.

For live updates and analysis before, during, and after, stayed tuned here at VAVEL.