Leeds United-Southampton Preview
Marcelo Bielsa is concerned by Leeds United's failings in front of goal, and he does not believe Patrick Bamford's unavailability can be used as an excuse.
Leeds collected their first Premier League win of the season when they beat Watford 1-0 last time out, with centre-back Diego Llorente scoring.
Winless Southampton are next up on Saturday, though Leeds will be without the injured Bamford, while Raphinha, who starred for Brazil on Friday morning UK time, faces a race against time to be fit to feature.
Leeds are averaging just one goal-per-game in the Premier League this season (7 goals, 7 games), having averaged 1.6 per game in the competition last term.
"I don't think it depends on Patrick, we construct our offensive game in a collective manner," said Bielsa. "Of course having a player that converts the chances increases the possibility of getting more goals.
"You asked me if it worries me, I say yes. I would like that we create more chances at goal and increase the efficiency."
With captain James Ward-Prowse suspended, Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl seems set to turn to the lesser-used Ibrahima Diallo in midfield.
"It was always tough for him, with (Romeu) Oriol and Prowsey, if they are fit they are quite settled in the first eleven. For him it was hard to step in. But I must say, he's showed in a lot of games how much quality he has," said Hasenhuttl. "He has to be in some moments a little bit more clinical, a little bit more serious. Then his duel up front can be a better one.
"Some things to improve still for his game, but I think the total package is a good one."
Southampton – Adam Armstrong
Still just one goal in the Premier League this season for Saints striker Armstrong, who was brought in to replace Danny Ings. Southampton need their new number nine to step up if they are to claim their first win of the campaign.
Leeds United – Raphinha
Raphinha has enjoyed a brilliant international break with Brazil and Leeds will be hoping that elation overcomes any fatigue if he is indeed involved. He has had more shots (24), created more chances (14), attempted more dribbles (37) and made more off-the-ball runs (223) than any other Leeds player in the Premier League this season.
Following his red card against Chelsea last time out, this will be the first Premier League game Ward-Prowse has not appeared in since 27th December 2018, a 2-1 home defeat to West Ham. The midfielder had appeared in 102 consecutive Premier League games for the Saints before this.
Leeds have faced more shots (117) and more shots on target (43) than any other side in the Premier League this season, while they also have the third-highest xG against total in the competition (12.4).
Leeds have had the fifth-most shots (105) in the Premier League this season, but have the sixth-lowest expected goals total (7.7). Their xG-per-shot of just 0.07 is the lowest in the competition this term.
Southampton remain winless in the Premier League this season (D4 L3) – the only campaign in their history in which they failed to win any of their opening eight league games was 1998-99, when they avoided relegation from the Premier League on the final day of the season.
Having won five of their six league meetings with Leeds between 2006 and 2012 (L1), Southampton lost both of their games against the Whites in the Premier League last season.
Updated October 15, 2021