Leeds v Middlesbrough preview: Championship clash live on Sky Sports Football
Watch Leeds v Middlesbrough on Friday night, live on Sky Sports Football from 7pm
Last Updated: 31/08/18 9:25pm
Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa is likely to revert to the side that saw off Norwich so convincingly last weekend when they come up against Middlesbrough in a top-of-the-table clash.
Bielsa made nine changes for the midweek Carabao Cup defeat by Preston, but is likely to return to the group of players who have started the Sky Bet Championship season so well. That leaves Pontus Jansson and Kalvin Phillips as the only two likely to retain their spots, with Kemar Roofe expected to return at the expense of Patrick Bamford - who faces his old side.
Izzy Brown has signed for the Whites on loan but is not expected to be fit for a couple of weeks, while Liam Cooper (hamstring) also remains injured.
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Boro boss Tony Pulis has added Sam McQueen to his squad ahead of the game. The Southampton full-back will spend the rest of the season on loan at the Riverside Stadium.
In-form forward Martin Brathwaite could be on his way out of the club having asked to leave amid interest from Spain, meaning Jordan Hugill is likely to lead the line. Rudy Gestede is another who has been linked with a move away, but otherwise Pulis is likely to go back to a similar side to the one that beat West Brom last Friday.
Leeds have won four of their last five home league matches against Middlesbrough, drawing the other - they won 2-1 last season.
Middlesbrough won 3-0 against Leeds in their last league meeting but haven't won back to back games against them since December 1979.
Marcelo Bielsa is the eighth manager in as many league matches to manage Leeds against Middlesbrough, a run stretching back to February 2014 (McDermott, Hockaday, Redfearn, Rosler, Evans, Christiansen and Heckingbottom are the previous seven).
Middlesbrough's last away league visit to Elland Road against Leeds on a Friday was on Christmas Day in 1936 - they lost 5-0.
Leeds have made their best ever start to a second-tier season, winning 13 points from a possible 15, while Middlesbrough have equalled their best points return in this division set back in 1994-95 (13 pts).
Pablo Hernández has been directly involved in more Championship goals in 2018 than any other player at the club (6 goals, 7 assists).
This is already looking like it could be a massive game between two of the promotion contenders this season! Whoever comes out on top would go clear in first before the international break, which is a huge incentive.
Leeds lost their first game of the season in midweek but you can't imagine a Carabao Cup defeat will derail their early-season optimism too much. Middlesbrough won't make it easy for them, but I fancy Marcelo Bielsa's side to sneak this one.
David Prutton predicts: 2-1 with Kemar Roofe to score first (30/1 with Sky Bet)