There’s a mammoth clash in the Championship this weekend as Leeds United host Fulham at Elland Road.
Leeds sit second in the table heading into the 39th game of the season, whilst Fulham are seven points adrift of them in third.
Given that gap, a Leeds win would put them firmly in the driving seat in their search for automatic promotion, with the pressure increasing on Fulham to pick up three points to give themselves a chance of catching the Whites and West Brom.
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For a long time now this has been highlighted as a huge fixture in the automatic promotion race, which leads to us breaking down some of the key individual battles we expect to see at Elland Road…
Ben White v Aleksandar Mitrovic
The Championship’s find of the season goes up against the division’s best striker.
White has been superb for Leeds this season and has proved to be such a cool customer at the back. However, he’s got a big task on his hands nullifying Mitrovic.
He’s cruised past 20 goals this season and will be key to Fulham picking up points at Elland Road.
Kalvin Phillips v Tom Cairney
Two of the Championship’s best midfielders will be going up against each other at Elland Road in Phillips and Cairney.
Their games are completely different, though, with Phillips’ duty sure to be stopping his opposite man supplying Mitrovic with ammunition.
A mammoth battle, which could be so crucial.
Luke Ayling v Ivan Cavaleiro
Ayling is Leeds’ right-back and has had a huge impact in pulling the Whites clear of Fulham.
However, he faces a tough task this weekend if he is to come up against Cavaleiro.
The Fulham winger is a real threat and after missing out on the XI last weekend, he’s going to be itching to prove a point in Leeds.
Patrick Bamford v Michael Hector
Bamford had an off-day against Cardiff City last weekend and will have to significantly improve when he goes up against Hector.
The Fulham centre-back has helped shore things up at Craven Cottage and if he thwarts Leeds’ No.9 this weekend, he goes some way to stopping Bielsa’s side scoring.
Pablo Hernandez v Harrison Reed
Hernandez is back in contention for Leeds this weekend and Bielsa is sure to lean on his playmaker for that extra spark.
In an attacking Fulham midfield, Scott Parker could look to Reed to combat the Spaniard’s threat.
A big ask.