West Bromwich Albion v Leeds Utd
Wednesday 1st January 2020 17.15 | The Hawthorns
Not content with winning a 9 goal thriller on Monday, Leeds have unfinished business in the West Midlands as they aim to complete the double over second placed West Brom. Leeds took all three points thanks to a one nil victory. An Alioski strike from his customary left hand side of the edge of the area was the difference between the two teams at the beginning of October, when Slaven Bilic's team tasted defeat for the first time this season. It was a game that Leeds dominated for large periods.
Patrick Bamford has recovered from his dead leg enough to make it onto the bench but Eddie Nketiah remains in the starting eleven to make only his second league start this season. Otherwise Marcelo Bielsa names an unchanged squad from the Birmingham City game with the same starting eleven. Fellow forward Tyler Roberts drops from the bench to make way for Bamford. Jamie Shackleton is not expected to return until the Arsenal game next Monday.
Bilic tore into his team on Boxing Day following a lackluster performance against Middlesbrough, which saw the Whites leapfrog the Baggies gaining a psychological advantage of being top of the Championship on January 1st. Influential West Bromwich Albion forward Grady Diangana has been ruled out of the New Year's Day clash. West Ham loanee Diangana has been one of the Baggies standout performers this season, but is still a week or so from returning after he sustained a back problem at Birmingham City. Joining him on the sidelines will be full-back Nathan Ferguson, who is suffering from a knee problem and will spend a couple of weeks out. There was better news for Bilic in that Kieran Gibbs is available against after he sat out the defeat to Middlesbrough on Sunday.
Referee Watch - Rob Jones
The referee for the West Brom game on New Year's Day will be, Rob Jones. He's hotly tipped for promotion to the SG1 next season and by far one of the better referees in the EFL. He's already refereed two of our home games this season; the Forest draw & our Centenary win over Birmingham.
He refereed us 4 times in the league last season. 3 wins; Rotherham, Bolton and Preston. And one draw against Sheff Wednesday. In total he has overseen 8 Leeds games; 8 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses. He has fished out 12 yellow cards and 1 red card to Leeds players, the red card was for O'Kane's headbutt against Ipswich.
Referee information from Jo Bedford (@El_Loco_JoJo)
West Bromwich Albion have won four of their last five home league games against Leeds United. Albion have lost six of their last eight league matches on New Year's Day. Last season, they lost 2-1 at Blackburn. This is the first time Leeds will play their first league match of a new decade away from home since 1970 when, under Don Revie, they hammered Chelsea 5-2 at Stamford Bridge. Albion have lost their first league match of a calendar year in 10 of the last 14 years, although they won the last time they were at The Hawthorns in 2017, a 3-1 win over Hull City. Patrick Bamford has scored two goals in two Championship games against West Brom for Leeds - both in the 4-0 win at Elland Road in March 2019.
Leeds Starting XI
Casilla, Ayling, White, Cooper, Alioski, Dallas, Phillips, Klich, Harrison, Costa, Nketiah
Subs: Meslier, Casey, Douglas, Berardi, Gotts, Stevens, Bamford