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Exclusive: Nigel Martyn previews Leeds United clash against Crystal Palace

Nigel Martyn has told LeedsUnited.News that he thinks Leeds will be “looking to win” against Crystal Palace on Monday night as the Whites look to get their own back, following Palace’s 4-1 win in the reverse fixture. Despite Palace being notoriously solid at the back, Martyn says he “wouldn’t bet on a 0-0” and it could end up being any result.

In the return fixture, Palace starred. Scott Dann, Eberechi Eze, Jordan Ayew and a Helder Costa own goal saw Leeds suffer a heavy 4-1 defeat at Selhurst Park. Patrick Bamford scored one of his 11 goals this season in the defeat, and had another ruled out unjustly for a bizarre offside decision. Ultimately, Leeds missed Kalvin Phillips, but also came up against a side that suit playing Leeds.

This season, the Whites have suffered defeats when coming up against a low block that like to counter. Leicester did it at Elland Road, winning 4-1. Tottenham showed Leeds how to do it in North London – though were reliant on Harry Kane and Son Heung-min shining, and Palace did it too. Leeds have an abysmal record when travelling south to London.

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Previewing Monday night’s clash between Leeds and another of his old clubs in Palace, Martyn thinks the game will suit Palace and while he did not give a specific prediction – the ex-England goalkeeper thinks there will be goals and does not expect a 0-0 draw between the two clubs.

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“It was a bit of a Premier League lesson [in the reverse fixture], where you have a rub of the green with the disallowed goal – but there a good side going forward, but are also well organised,” Martyn told LeedsUnited.News. “They will sit, and Leeds will be attacking and get hit on the counter – I think it will suit Palace, with Eze and Zaha. Luke Ayling will be getting a good night’s sleep before. If we can win that ball – turnover, the next three or four seconds, that is when you really hurt a team.

“Leeds won’t change the way they play – which is 65% good, and 35% bad. It’s great to watch, we’re everyone’s second favourite team. I most enjoy watching Leeds, I have that slight side of me that it is my old team – I’m watching from behind a cushion, but it is exciting. I enjoy watching them more than anyone else. Palace had a good win at Newcastle, any result – I wouldn’t bet on a 0-0. But you could literally go three or 4-1 – or any result down from that and it could happen. It is one that Leeds will be looking to win.”

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Leeds come into the game in good form. Having beaten Newcastle United and then a swashbuckling performance that dispatched Leicester 3-1 away from home, Leeds did well against Everton and were unlucky not to get a point – hitting the post through Gjanni Alioski, and coming up against an inspired performance in the form of Pontus Jansson’s best man – Robin Olsen.

Leeds will be without six players as they welcome Palace to their new pitch. Rodrigo and Ian Poveda have been confirmed as being sidelined for weeks, while Robin Koch and Diego Llorente are also set to miss the rest of February. Adam Forshaw is aiming to return to action before the end of the season, while Gaetano Berardi is set to take part in training from Monday.

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