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Leeds vs Aston Villa predictions: Returning stars should aid hosts' bid
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Tom Hill
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The extended break has helped Leeds' squad recover with Patrick Bamford one of those pushing for a start on Sunday
The extended break has helped Leeds' squad recover with Patrick Bamford one of those pushing for a start on Sunday

Leeds will play their first Premier League match for nearly a month when they entertain Aston Villa at Elland Road on Sunday in the late kick-off at 4.30pm. 

The Whites had games against Nottingham Forest and Manchester United cancelled after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, while the international break also saw their squad depart for Nations League fixtures and pre-World Cup matches. 

They will look to end a three-match winless run, while Steven Gerrard's Aston Villa can make it three unbeaten if they avoid defeat at Elland Road. 

Leeds were humbled by a 5-2 defeat at Brentford last time out, with Villa showing signs of progress as they beat Southampton 1-0 at home.

Team news

Leeds United coach Jesse Marsch will be without Adam Forshaw due to a knee injury, while Archie Gray will watch on from the stands after fracturing his toe at home. 

Stuart Dallas remains a long-term injury absentee, but Rodrigo has been back in training after recovering from a dislocated shoulder. 

Striker Patrick Bamford could start after proving his fitness before the international break, which could give Villa's defence some problems. 

Right-back Rasmus Kristensen should return having missed the defeat to Brentford, but Luke Ayling is also fit, meaning Cody Drameh will drop out of the squad.

Gerrard cannot call upon the services of first-choice full-backs Matty Cash and Lucas Digne, meaning summer signing Ludwig Augustinsson will make his debut. 

In the absence of Cash, veteran Ashley Young should return to the fold to bring some much-needed experience to the Villa backline.

Boubacar Kamara is out until after the World Cup with knee ligament damage, meaning Leander Dendoncker should start in the middle of the park. 

The stats

Steven Gerrard's Aston Villa have lost all three Premier League away games this season
Steven Gerrard's Aston Villa have lost all three Premier League away games this season

Leeds have lost two of their last three games in the Premier League, but both of those were away from Elland Road. 

The Whites have yet to lose at home this season in all competitions, winning three and drawing one. 

While Villa are unbeaten in two, which includes a 1-1 draw against Manchester City, they have lost every one of their three away games in the Premier League this season. 

Gerrard's side have conceded seven goals in those three games, although they did win 3-0 on their last visit to Elland Road, which was Marsch's second game in charge after the sacking of Marcelo Bielsa last season. 

Prediction

Injuries should play their part in Sunday's contest, with Leeds' squad now much stronger thanks to the extended break. 

Bamford and Rodrigo should be able to start on home soil, while Marsch also has Pascal Struijk, Diego Llorente, Robin Koch and Liam Cooper available at centre-back. 

Gerrard does not have the same luxury, though, and the absence of Digne and Cash will be hard felt. 

With Leeds unbeaten at home, the sensible play should be to back a home win.

However, for a bit more juice, a home win and both teams to score is worth considering, especially with Leeds having only kept one clean sheet all season. 

That came in a 3-0 win over Chelsea at Elland Road, and after nearly a month without a match, Leeds' fans will again be doing all they can to unsettle the visitors in what should be an entertaining battle in West Yorkshire.

Tags

Leeds UnitedAston VillaPremier LeaguePatrick Bamford
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