Leeds United are set to have a run-out against former Championship rivals Stoke City this afternoon. Leeds, minus a raft of international players, travel to Stoke’s Brittania Stadium ground for the match.

A question usually crowed across the various social media platforms is about the availability of some way of watching the game. Save your breath, there isn’t.

After four murderball sessions last week, Leeds United’s players will be looking forward to something a little more like football and a little less like flogging themselves to the point of physical breakdown. They will be coming up against a Stoke side that they dismantled 5-0 last time out at Elland Road.

That display was a ruthless display of attacking football that left Michael O’Neill’s men chasing shadows and O’Neill himself simply shrugging at the fact there was nothing he could do to stem the tide.

Last time out

Leeds United vs Stoke City heatmap (09/07/20)

The above heatmap, courtesy of WhoScored’s Match Centre for the game at Elland Road, shows just how dominant the Whites were last time out against the Potters. Leeds dominance in defence (the red patches) contrasts starkly with the lack of probing afforded to Stoke’s forwards. Leeds were also active all over the pitch, although not as active directly outside the centre of the Stoke box. Stoke had patches of the pitch where they weren’t active, pockets of space that Leeds exploited.

This time out

It’s an experimental side in places that will face Michael O’Neill’s outfit in under 30 minutes. A new central defensive pairing of Oliver Casey and, it looks like Luke Ayling, form the core of a backline containing Barry Douglas at left-back and Leif ‘Very Good’ Davis on the opposite side. Pascal Struijk looks like he could be anchoring a midfield which contains the energy of Jamie Shackleton and the guile of Pablo Hernandez. Hernandez, Jack Harrison, Helder Costa and Patrick Bamford are a strong attacking front-four for today’s match-up.

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