Sky Sports host Jeff Stelling predicts another strong Leeds United result v Chelsea
Jeff Stelling has predicted that Leeds United will hold Chelsea to a draw when the pair meet in their third games of the Premier League season.
Both dropped their first points of the new campaign last time out, with Jesse Marsch’s side giving up a two-goal lead to a resurgent Southampton to draw 2-2, while Thomas Tuchel was furious as two controversial Tottenham goals saw their clash end in the same scoreline.
The German is likely to be on the sideline for the trip to Elland Road on Sunday 21 August despite his red card for clashing with Antonio Conte and his comments about Anthony Taylor as the investigation is not yet complete [Leeds Live], but Stelling still thinks the Whites will take a point.
He has the score down as 1-1 in his Super6 predictions for Sky Sports, which would be just the third point the club have picked up against their heated rivals from Stamford Bridge in 20 years, making it a surprise that he has predicted it even if it wouldn’t be a total shock if it happens.
It was a 0-0 draw in the corresponding fixture two seasons ago under Marcelo Bielsa, but amid an early red card from Dan James last season the visitors ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.
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There is no way of telling how Chelsea react to being held at the death last week, but for all their strength this is sure to be one that United will be up for.
Despite losing out on two points at St Mary’s this has been an encouraging start to the season for Marsch and his men.
There have been injuries once more, and defensive frailty, but four points have been recorded despite that and the frailty has not led to full-scale collapses that happened too often last year.
Obviously the team is still a work in progress as new signings attempt to adapt to the Premier League, so a week more experience together will do them good.
If Patrick Bamford, Joe Gelhardt, and above all captain Liam Cooper can feature there is every reason to believe the home side can give the Blues a tough time, and if they play like they have in their stronger spells from the first two games a win can’t be ruled out.
Discipline will be key, with the sending off of James in May, which even referee Taylor couldn’t overlook despite his much-publicised alleged hatred of Chelsea, destroying the game in the last meeting.
If the Whites end the weekend still unbeaten it will be an excellent launchpad for the rest of the season and the hopes of putting together a run will be lifted greatly.
In other Leeds United news, the club’s interest in a big-money attacking signing is real despite denials.