Leeds vs Arsenal on Sky: Hosts’ injury woes increase

Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Leeds vs Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday; kick-off 5.30pm.

Team news

Jamie Shackleton and Dan James have been added to Leeds‘ lengthy injury list before Saturday’s home Premier League game against Arsenal.

Shackleton (Achilles) and James (groin) were both forced out of Tuesday night’s 7-0 defeat at Manchester City and although Robin Koch (pelvis) is available again, Leeds will be without eight first-team players.

Kalvin Phillips, Patrick Bamford, Liam Cooper (all hamstring), Rodrigo (heel) and Pascal Struijk (foot) remain sidelined and Junior Firpo will serve a one-game ban.

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Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa says he does not want to have an advantage by facing a team that is depleted because of a coronavirus outbreak

Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will again not be eligible for selection following internal club disciplinary action.

Aubameyang has been stripped of the captaincy and left out of the past two Premier League games, after the Gabon forward reportedly returned late from a trip abroad to visit his ill mother.

Goalkeeper Bernd Leno is recovering from a groin problem, so Arthur Okonkwo could again be on the bench. Defender Sead Kolasinac (ankle) is also continuing his own rehabilitation.

How to follow


Saturday 18th December 5:00pm


Kick off 5:30pm

Sky Sports Premier League HD
Sky Sports Premier League HD

Leeds vs Arsenal is live on Sky Sports Premier League from 5pm; kick-off 5.30pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.

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We take a look at some of the Premier League games that are still going ahead this weekend, including Newcastle vs Manchester City, Tottenham vs Liverpool and Leeds vs Arsenal.

Jones Knows’ prediction

If Arsenal can start transferring their home form to their away days then a top-four finish just might be within their capabilities. That is easier said than done though for a team who lack experience and clearly relish playing with the home comforts at The Emirates.

Since losing to Chelsea in August, Mikel Arteta’s team have taken 22 points from a possible 24 at home. However, they have lost their last three Premier League away games, winning just two of their last eight on the road. The performance metrics back up their struggles away from home, too. Their shots on target, expected goals, shots faced and shots on target faced are all trending in the wrong direction when not playing at The Emirates.

With that in mind, I can’t back them here at 23/20 with Sky Bet.

However, I also don’t want to trust Leeds without Kalvin Phillips. Since their promotion to the Premier League, Leeds have a worrying record when the England international doesn’t play, losing 11 of their 14 fixtures. The draw stands out like a sore thumb at 13/5 with Sky Bet.

SCORE PREDICTION: 0-0

BETTING ANGLE: Back the draw (13/5 with Sky Bet)

Last time out…

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City’s win over Leeds

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s win over West Ham

Opta stats

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Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has called for clarity on the Covid situation and why games may or may not be called off.

  • Arsenal have won 10 of their last 13 away league games against Yorkshire sides (D1 L2), with both defeats in that run coming against Sheffield United. It’s more victories than the Gunners had managed in their previous 49 league visits to the county (W9 D17 L23).
  • Leeds are unbeaten in their last five home league games (W2 D3), having picked up just one point from their first three at Elland Road this season (D1 L2).
  • Arsenal have lost their last three away league games, conceding more goals in this run (9) than they had in their previous nine on the road combined (8). The Gunners last lost more consecutive away league games between January and May 2018 under Arsène Wenger (7).
  • Leeds have lost their last two Premier League games, conceding as many goals in these defeats (10) as they had in their previous 10 league games combined. The Whites haven’t lost three consecutive games in the top-flight since April/May 2004, a run that included a 5-0 loss against Arsenal.
  • Since Mikel Arteta’s first game in charge on Boxing Day in 2019, Arsenal have scored 28 Premier League goals via players aged 21 or younger – more than any other team.
  • Since the start of last season, Leeds United average 1.6 goals-per-game when Patrick Bamford plays, compared to just 0.9 when he’s absent. The Whites have won 41% of their Premier League games with Bamford in the side (18/44), and just 27% without him (3/11).
  • Arsenal pair Emile Smith Rowe (21) and Bukayo Saka (20) have assisted one another six times in the Premier League; among duos when both aged 21 or younger, only Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney (8) have assisted one another more often in the competition’s history.

Latest Essential Football Podcast

On this week’s show we hear from former Tottenham defender Michael Dawson, and Peter Smith is joined by Sky Sports football journalists Gerard Brand, Ben Grounds and Adam Bate to look ahead to the Premier League weekend.

PART 1 | After a series of postponements, Tottenham return to the field against a flying Liverpool side on Sunday. Just how hard is that as a player? Michael Dawson assesses the challenge facing Antonio Conte’s men.

PART 2 | Arsenal had a good midweek, moving fourth in the Premier League table with a win over West Ham. Can they stay there? Gerard Brand discusses their prospects. Plus, Ben Grounds tells us about his sitdown with Marcelo Bielsa in the wake of Leeds’ awful 7-0 defeat at the hands of Man City.

PART 3 | Indeed, Pep Guardiola’s side are on the title charge, with seven wins in a row. Adam Bate explains how the manager’s way of playing allows City to go on such devastating winning streaks – and, at the other end of the table, what their opponents this weekend, Newcastle, must do to stay up.

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