vs Chelsea: In depth preview

Last updated : 30 January 2002 By
Jimmy Hasselbaink
In-form striker Eidur Gudjohnsen has pulled out of the squad for tonight's game as his wife is about to give birth. He is to be replaced in the starting line up by Mikael Forsell. Stanic returns from suspension, while William Gallas will require a late fitness test.

LEEDS UNITED TEAM NEWS: Danny Mills and Alan Smith will both miss the game due to suspension. Olivier Dacourt, Robbie Keane, and Harry Kewell all return from long-term injuries and are expected to play some part.

Probable starting line-up: Martyn, Matteo, Kelly, Woodgate, Ferdinand (c), Dacourt, Batty, Bowyer, Kewell, Fowler, Viduka. Robbie Keane will probably have to sit it out on the bench, while Jason Wilcox may be squeezed out by the returning Harry Kewell.

David O'Leary - "A Chelsea side with Hasselbaink is better than a Chelsea side without him. I certainly didn't sell Jimmy because he was a bad player. He has the hardest shot I have ever seen even in training and given the chances he will score goals."

Marcel Desailly - "There are some great players in this Leeds team. I just hope there will not be too much aggression on their part and that the match will be played cleanly. We are counting on the fact Chelsea often raise their game against the bigger teams. We are looking forward to it and the most important thing is not to let ourselves come undone."

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LEEDS UTD MAD PREDICTION: Tonight's game will be one of the toughest of the season so far, and while Desailly is moaning about Leeds' aggressive approach he's forgetting Chelsea's ability to mix it too (Le Saux's challenge at Elland Road earlier this season springs to mind). Hasselbaink is undoubtedly their greatest threat though should be contained well by the formidable partnership of Jonathan Woodgate and Rio Ferdinand. The return of Kewell, Keane and especially Olivier Dacourt is a massive boost - which could see Leeds through to a narrow away victory; 0-1 (Fowler).