By Joe Ellis

4th Jan, 2023 | 6:46pm

Leeds United confirmed XI v West Ham United: Jack Harrison axed in 2 changes

Leeds United will be looking to put some proper distance between themselves and the relegation zone when they welcome West Ham to Elland Road.

The Whites come into the game having taken a hard-fought point off high-flying Newcastle United at St James’ Park while the Hammers were beaten 2-0 at home by Brentford.

That result leaves David Moyes’ side in 17th place, just goal difference above the drop zone, while Jesse Marsch’s Leeds are in 14th place, two points better off.

The American has chosen to make two changes to the Leeds side that got a draw on Tyneside with Marc Roca and Crysencio Summerville coming into the starting lineup in place of Adam Forshaw and Jack Harrison.

The game has been put into context somewhat after West Ham announced the death of co-owner David Gold on Wednesday morning (4 January) with Leeds chief Andrea Radrizzani leading the tributes from Yorkshire.

Must win

Gold’s passing is untimely and will surely motivate the Irons to do whatever it takes to win in his honour but that should not change anything for Leeds United.

This is still a game against a relegation rival at this moment in time and given the home advantage the Whites will have, only victory is truly acceptable with Moyes hanging by a thread in the London Stadium hot seat.

A fast start is vital to try and get West Ham chasing the game as they were against Brentford and proved that they could not break down a well-drilled defensive unit.

According to Marsch, that is what he has been working on at Thorp Arch while the World Cup took place in Qatar so the Hammers should find it very difficult to score.

These next four games could be decisive in Leeds’ season with Aston Villa, Brentford and Nottingham Forest next up so big points in them all is more important than ever.

In other Leeds United news, Luis Sinisterra is unavailable for this game but Phil Hay shared some good news regarding him and Patrick Bamford.