Leeds United will play their first Premier League match at Elland Road for more than 16 years when they welcome Fulham to west Yorkshire on Saturday afternoon.
The last home game Leeds had in the top flight was a rollercoaster 3-3 draw with Charlton Athletic in May 2004, which relegated the historic club. Now under the stewardship of Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds were two minutes away from repeating that scoreline on the opening day before a late penalty gave Liverpool a 4-3 win.
Fulham joined Leeds in promotion last season and opened their campaign with the same outcome, limply losing 3-0 at home to Arsenal. However, while they both go into the game on zero points, their opening day performances prompted drastically contrasting outlooks for the season ahead.
Where to Watch on TV
When Is Kick Off? Saturday 19 September
What Time Is Kick Off? 15:00 (BST)
Where Is it Played? Elland Road
TV Channel/Live Stream? BT Sport 1 (UK), ESPN+
Referee? Anthony Taylor
Leeds began their Premier League campaign with Robin Koch and Pascal Struijk at the heart of their back four - two players with a combined five appearances for the club prior to the meeting with Liverpool.
Gaetano Berardi poses no threat of breaking up that new duo as he is a long-term absentee with an ACL injury. However, club captain Liam Cooper may make a return on Saturday. The 29-year-old watched on from the Anfield sidelines after picking up a calf strain on international duty but could make a return at the weekend.
Fulham midfielder Stefan Johansen remains a doubt for the Cottagers with a foot injury while the returning Jean Michael Seri is being assessed after lacking match fitness.
Leeds: Meslier; Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas; Phillips; Costa, Hernández, Klich, Harrison; Bamford,
Fulham: Rodak; Odoi, Hector, Ream, Bryan; Reed, Cairney; Kebano, Onomah, Cavaleiro; Kamara.
Both sides may have begun their league campaign with defeat but they each closed out the previous season in style. After a nerve-inducing loss to Cardiff City in the first post-lockdown match, Leeds won seven of their final eight games, keeping five clean sheets.
Yet, after losing to Liverpool last Saturday, Leeds suffered the same fate against a more familiar opponent in the form of Hull City in Wednesday's Carabao Cup second round tie.
Fulham, meanwhile, snuck past League One's Ipswich Town in the same competition thanks to a goal from last season's top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic. The imposing Serbia international only came on for the final 30 minutes of Fulham's clash against Arsenal but he did net the opener in a 2-1 win when the Cottagers hosted Leeds last December.
Having played the full 90 minutes in midweek Mitrovic may be resigned to the bench for Saturday's trip to Elland Road. Whereas Leeds will boast a well-rested first team, after Bielsa rung the changes against Hull.
Here's how each team has fared in their last five outings.
Leeds 1-1 (8-9) Hull City (16/9)
Liverpool 4-3 Leeds (12/9)
Leeds 4-0 Charlton Athletic (22/7)
Derby County 1-3 Leeds (19/7)
Leeds 1-0 Barnsley (16/7)
Ipswich Town 0-1 Fulham (16/9)
Fulham 0-3 Arsenal (12/9)
Brentford 1-2 Fulham (4/8)
Fulham 1-2 Cardiff City (30/7)
Cardiff City 0-2 Fulham (27/7)
Fulham's last visit to Elland Road came less than three months ago and saw them consummately swept aside in a 3-0 defeat. Saturday's match is in a higher tier than that June meeting but there haven't been drastic changes to either side in the intervening months.
While Fulham have been reluctant to repeat their transfer splurge of 2018/19, Leeds have admittedly broken their transfer record with the addition of Rodrigo Moreno up front. However, the Spain international will likely need time to adapt to Bielsa's idiosyncratic style of play. With Patrick Bamford's opening day goal against Liverpool and unrelenting work-rate, the 27-year-old would be unlucky to lose his place.
Leeds' three goals against the reigning Premier League champions may have flattered their performance but the Championship winners should have enough to overcome a side that finished three places and 12 points behind them last season.
Prediction: Leeds 2-0 Fulham
Source : 90min