15 min: This game is being played at 101mph on a slippery pitch. Marvellous. “The peacocks look like they could be badly outfoxed by Vardy and co tonight,” writes Justin Kavanagh. “This has 5-5 written all over it.” Ssh, don’t be giving them ideas, I’m the poor bugger that has to type it all up.
13 min: In a parallel universe, Leicester are already three up. Then again, in another, Bamford would have taken that early chance. And this will make Leeds feel a little better, a combination between Costa and Bamford down the inside right that ends with a snapshot by the latter sailing inches wide of the right-hand post.
12 min: Leeds are all over the shop at the corner. Barnes, Vardy and Justin all have the ball at their feet in the box, but can’t quite work space for a shot. Justin eventually hoicks out for a goal kick.
11 min: Leicester are totally dominant. Albrighton wins the ball down the right and sends Vardy on another scuttle. Vardy tees up Barnes, to the right of the D. Barnes sends a power curler towards the top right. Meslier does very well to turn round the post.
9 min: Vardy drives at Cooper, nearly forcing a mistake that would offer up a chance to shoot from the edge of the D. Not quite, but Leeds look uncharacteristically rattled.
8 min: Leicester unpick Leeds again, Vardy and Barnes combining crisply down the left, the latter tearing clear of Ayling. Barnes is one on one with Meslier, but gets a bit tangled up as he enters the box, allowing Ayling to recover. Between the defender and Meslier, the ball’s bundled out for a corner, from which nothing comes.
6 min: Costa wins the first corner of the match down the right off Thomas. The set piece is wasted. Time for a replay of Marcelo Bielsa’s reaction to Bamford flashing that sitter straight at the keeper. He was fuming. Shame they didn’t run the film on 20 seconds or so; I’d have liked to gauge the amount of steam parping out of his ears when Koch failed to deal with the long ball.
4 min: Brendan Rodgers said there would be plenty of space for Leicester to work with. He wasn’t wrong. Leeds were exposed by a simple long ball as they piled forward in attack. What a start!
GOAL! Leeds United 0-1 Leicester City (Barnes 2)
This is quite sensational. Leeds should be leading … but they’re behind! Some neat work between Hernandez and Costa down the right. A long cross to Harrison is headed back to Bamford, six yards out. He flashes a header straight at Schmeichel. Leicester go straight up the other end, Barnes chasing a long pass down the left. Koch steps in, but plays an awful backpass across the face of his box, allowing Vardy to intercept, round the keeper, and roll across for Barnes, who has kept going and rolls home!
1 min: A couple of early probes down the left by Bamford, with Leeds on the front foot from the get-go. Albrighton stands firm to make sure nobody passes.
A poignant moment of silence to remember World Cup winner Nobby Stiles. The Last Post to remember those lost at war. And a knee of solidarity and love: there’s no room for racism, black lives matter. Leicester get the ball rolling.
The teams are out! It is absolutely hosing down at Elland Road. Autumn in Yorkshire. Both teams get to gad about in their first-choice gladrags: Leeds in white, Leicester in blue. The captains lay red poppy wreaths by the side of the field in remembrance of the fallen. We’ll be off soon.
Brendan Rodgers talks to Sky Sports. “Leeds play a different style to every other team in the Premier League. Teams normally press in a zone; theirs is very much man to man. So that’s different. They’ve done terrific, have players that are hungry and want to prove themselves at this level, and have a top-class manager. So we respect their qualities. But we also know our own qualities, and hopefully we can exploit them. There will be lots of space on the field. I would say we have the best counter-attacking player in the league in Jamie Vardy, so I hope that’s something we can exploit. But it will be a tough game.”
Leeds captain Liam Cooper is back. He’s one of three changes to the starting XI from the team named at Villa. Jamie Shackleton and Pablo Hernandez, making his first start since the opening day at Anfield, are also in; Pascal Struijk and Ezgjan Alioski drop to the bench, while Rodrigo is missing altogether. He’s self-isolating after coming into contact with someone with coronavirus.
Luke Thomas makes his first appearance of the season for Leicester, one of four changes to the Leicester team named for the win in Athens. Nampalys Mendy, Dennis Praet and Harvey Barnes also step up; Wes Morgan, James Maddison, Hamza Choudhury and Cengiz Under drop to the bench.
Leeds United: Meslier, Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas, Klich, Helder Costa, Shackleton, Hernandez, Harrison, Bamford.
Subs: Poveda-Ocampo, Alioski, Roberts, Casilla, Struijk, Davis, Casey.
Leicester City: Schmeichel, Fofana, Thomas, Fuchs, Albrighton, Tielemans, Mendy, Justin, Praet, Barnes, Vardy.
Subs: Morgan, Ward, Iheanacho, Perez, Under, Choudhury, Maddison.
Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands).
Both of these teams go into tonight’s match on the back of extremely fine performances. Leeds United’s second-half display at Aston Villa last week was the best sustained burst of quality by any team in the Premier League so far this season, while Leicester City meanwhile performed a textbook smash and grab at Arsenal.
Should Leicester win tonight, they’ll go second; should Leeds take the three points, they’ll move into third. Both teams will fancy their chances at Elland Road, and with good justification. Two impressive teams playing for high stakes. This should be a goodie. It’s on!
Kick off: 8pm GMT.