Leeds United-Newcastle United Preview

Marcelo Bielsa blamed himself for Leeds United's 3-0 defeat against Liverpool as they prepare to travel to Newcastle United on Friday.

The Whites are winless in their opening four Premier League games and they have not failed to win their first five top-flight matches since 1946-47 when they finished bottom.

However, Leeds are looking to win three consecutive fixtures against Newcastle for the first time since October 1967, having triumphed in both games last term.

But head coach Bielsa placed the focus on his own decisions ahead of the trip to St. James' Park as he was disappointed with his plan to tackle Jurgen Klopp's men.

"I'm never critical of my job or my labour without explaining why," Bielsa said. "The job of a manager is not measured by the quality of the resources that he has, but by those resources obtaining the result we're looking for.

"And I clearly saw the plan of the opponent in the last game had a superior effect than the one I proposed in the game.

"I always explain when I make myself responsible for my errors because if you don't explain why you're at fault for the reality of the team, that means taking on the responsibility has no way."

Newcastle are also winless in their first four, placing further pressure on manager Steve Bruce but he remains confident of steering the Magpies out of their lean spell.

"It's not all about me," he started. "I'm here to only do what I think is best for the club and that is managing it as best I can and keep us moving along.

"I will continue to do my best. I'm never going to walk away from the challenge.

"A win can do wonders and hopefully get us started and hopefully we can build a little bit of momentum because we proved at the back end of the season with momentum behind a club like ours, it can only be a good thing."

Newcastle United - Matt Ritchie

Matt Richie, despite playing in defence, has created the most chances for the Magpies this campaign (12) - three more than second-place Allan Saint-Maximin. The left-back could cause Luke Ayling all sorts of problems on Friday.

Leeds United - Patrick Bamford

Patrick Bamford has been involved in five goals in his last eight Premier League games. He also scored against Newcastle last term and could profit from the hosts' shaky defence, which has conceded 12 goals already this season.

- Newcastle have only failed to score in one of their last 15 league meetings with Leeds (W8 D3 L4), going down 0-2 at home in September 2002.

- Leeds have alternated between defeat (3) and victory (3) in each of their six Premier League away games played on Fridays, with the Whites beating Fulham 2-1 in their last such match.

- Leeds have faced 28 shots on target in the Premier League this season (more than any other side), including nine against Liverpool last time out. Their average of seven shots on target faced per game is the highest on record in a single Premier League campaign (since 2003-04).

- Only Southampton (3) have kept fewer clean sheets than Newcastle in the Premier League so far in 2021 (4, excluding the promoted sides). Three of the Magpies' four shutouts this calendar year came against the three teams to be relegated last season, with the other coming against Everton in January.

- After winning seven of his first nine games as a manager against Leeds (L2), Newcastle's Steve Bruce has won just one of his last nine against the Whites in all competitions (D3 L5).

Updated September 16, 2021

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