The Reds are back on home soil this afternoon, looking to extend their impressive unbeaten run in all competitions which began in Wimbledon in late November. Since that fixture, Crawley have won on three occasions and drawing four, with a tally of huge results building confidence and seeing the Reds now rise to sixth in the league table, sitting pretty in the play-off places.
Against the odds, John Yems’ Crawley travelled back from Gloucestershire two weeks ago with three points against high-flying Forest Green on a cold Tuesday night, a fantastic team performance as well as a Tom Nichols masterclass sunk the Green Army 1-2, as Nichols struck twice with assists from midfield pairing Jack Powell and Jake Hessenthaler.
The Reds then travelled to Bolton Wanderers where again the tipsters may have bet against us. Captain George Francomb chipped in with an extraordinary team goal early in the second half before resolute Red defending saw the game finish 0-1. Two huge away wins on the trot.
Leeds United have notoriously been recognised for their entertaining football this season, impressing many pundits despite conceding almost two goals per game so far.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side have also scored on thirty occasions, which is more than the likes of Tottenham and Manchester City have managed so far this term. Leeds have failed to find consistency with their results in their return to the Premier League, but have impressed especially in recent games against West Brom and Newcastle, where they won 5-0 and 5-2 respectively.
However, amongst those results, the Leeds defence has certainly been tested at the highest level, with 6-2 and 3-0 defeats to Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, as well as 4-1 defeats to both Leicester and Crystal Palace earlier in the season.
Patrick Bamford is the away side’s top goal scorer so far this season having impressed in the Premier League and retaining his starting spot within the side after many doubted his ability, especially with the arrival of Spain international Rodrigo Moreno. Bamford has ten Premier League goals and two assists in seventeen matches and we certainly fight to be a contender for the golden boot this season.
As well as possessing the physicality and pin-point finishing of Bamford, Leeds also have an Arsenal of attacking talent to select from. New signing Raphinha has began to catch the eye of English football fans since his summer move from Rennes. Spectacular goals from right-wing against Everton and West Brom reflected the pace and athleticism of the Brazilian, who will certainly be a threat today.
In defence it is likely that Germany International, Robin Koch, will miss out. But experienced pros Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas should feature across the back-line to solidify things at the back for Leeds with the current injury sufferings.
Reece Grego-Cox remains unavailable for tomorrow’s fixture. Henry Burnett and Jake Hesketh are doubts to feature.
HOW THEY BET*
Crawley Town 10/1
Leeds United 2/9
*Odds correct with EFL partners Sky Bet at time of writing. Please gamble responsibly.
You can watch all the action live on BBC One with kick-off coming at 1:30 and commentary from Jonathan Pearce.