Chris Sutton predicts result of Leeds United vs Brentford for BBC Sport
Chris Sutton has predicted Leeds United will get a draw against a “dangerous” Brentford side when they visit Elland Road at the weekend.
The Bees head to West Yorkshire on Sunday (22 January) in a strong run of form which hasn’t seen them beaten in the Premier League since October, while the Whites haven’t won in the top flight since they overcame Bournemouth 4-3 on 5 November.
Jesse Marsch’s side were thrashed 5-2 in the return fixture back on 3 September, which Sutton feels was one of the worst points of the American’s time in charge, but has tipped him to secure a 2-2 draw in the home clash with Thomas Frank’s men.
In his BBC Sport predictions Sutton said: “Leeds’ 5-2 defeat at Brentford in September was a real low point for their boss Jesse Marsch, who is still under pressure now.
“Marsch is always bullish, win or lose, to talk his side’s performances up and he is a manager who wears his heart on his sleeve.
“He could do with a home win – Leeds thumped Cardiff in the FA Cup on Wednesday but they haven’t managed a league victory since 5 November.
“Brentford are dangerous though, especially on the counter-attack, and they are streetwise from set-pieces too. I don’t see them losing here.”
The defeat in West London back in September emphatically marked the end to the strong start to the season that Leeds United had produced.
A subsequent lay-off following the death of the Queen meant that the Whites didn’t win again until 29 October at Liverpool, before the Bournemouth victory which lifted some of the encroaching doom around Marsch.
But that pressure has never really disappeared since, with just three points between Leeds and the relegation places even now.
The defence was a shambles away to Brentford and simply has to be better at the weekend or it could be a similar score line, but if whoever Marsch puts out can keep things tighter at the back they should have a threat going forward.
Patrick Bamford was totally overshadowed by Ivan Toney’s hat-trick four and a half months ago, and somehow managed to miss a virtually open goal on a miserable afternoon, but he has finally returned from his injury lay-off and has three goals in the last two games.
If the effervescent Willy Gnonto can maintain his form and provide opportunities for the central striker then a draw should be the least of this side’s capabilities, but Brentford have been one of the most impressive teams in the division this year so whatever happens it will be tough.
In other Leeds United news, one Whites talent is already being eyed up as a potential Pep Guardiola player at Manchester City.