Leeds United are 33-1 shots to be relegated from the Premier League this season, so they could have the freedom to give the FA Cup a real go. Under Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds do not look a team capable of playing any match at half-pace although they are sure to rotate against League Two side Crawley Town.
Crawley had a great run in the cup in 2011 when still in the National League, reaching the fifth round before they were beaten by Manchester United, inspired by striker Matt Tubbs who finished that season with 37 goals in all competitions. They also now have TV personality and The Only Way is Essex star Mark Wright in their ranks, who is having one last crack at the professional game aged 33.
Leeds United captain Liam Cooper is available for today’s game after almost three weeks out with an abdominal injury.
Speaking in the build-up to the game, Bielsa said: “For me it [the FA Cup] represents English football in its purest form. It allows you to link with the history of the clubs in England.
“The sole fact that we have to analyse the opponent we’re going to face, it allows you to take a look into League Two, the stadiums and style of play.
“Crawley are a team that responds to a direct approach and their defensive organisation is also a tradition.”
Crawley manager John Yems: “I just hope Leeds donate their money back to us, which would be a very good gesture, so we can start paying for a few things.
“You wouldn’t get as much as you would normally because of no crowd.
“But in the current climate, it would be nice if – like they used to in the old days – some big clubs donated a little bit back to you. But who knows?”
Full team news on the way shortly.