Leeds United and Stoke City play twice in the space of four days, first in the Championship and then the second round of the League Cup. Stoke host Leeds in the league game on Saturday, while the Whites host the Potters on Tuesday night in the League Cup.
The battle between Leeds United and Stoke City will see the table-toppers face off against the bottom dwellers, who have lost three and drawn one game in the Championship, while Leeds have won three and drawn one.
Let’s take a look at the 3 key battles between Leeds United and Stoke City.
Adam Forshaw vs Sam Clucas
Leeds United midfield trio of Kalvin Phillips, Adam Forshaw, and Mateusz Klich are perhaps the best midfield trio in the Championship and have shown that this season as they have dominated most midfield battles. While Phillips has got the praise from fans and pundits, and Klich contributing with goals, Adam Forshaw’s performances in midfield have gone a tad under the radar.
The tough-tackling midfielder has the energy and work-rate to go from box to box, but he’s primarily a ball-playing midfielder who can keep hold of the ball and pass it around. He will come up against Sam Clucas in midfield on Saturday, who has been Stoke’s only shining light in the middle of the park. Clucas has averaged almost 2 tackles a game and is a player who is good in the air and on the ground.
Pablo Hernandez vs James McClean
Pablo Hernandez has been on fire so far this season for Leeds, scoring two goals and making one in the four games that he has played, and has been influential for the Whites in the final third. The experienced Spanish winger will be up against James McLean, who has been moved to the left-back position.
McClean is not a natural left-back, having played mostly as a left-sided midfielder, but the Irish player has looked solid so far, which will make this quite an interesting battle.
Patrick Bamford vs Jack Butland
One of the best attackers in the Championship against one of the best goalkeepers in the league will mean that this could turn out to be quite the battle. Patrick Bamford, who has got on the scoresheet thrice this season, could have a field day against Stoke, who have conceded 10 goals in four games so far. But, Jack Butland could perhaps be the one between Bamford scoring plenty of goals against a struggling Stoke side.
This will be one of the battles of the game between Stoke City and Leeds United and will be vital if Stoke are to upset the odds.