MUCH has been made of struggling Leeds United’s leaky defence this season - but there are also major concerns about the lack of goals ahead of tomorrow night’s crucial home game against Aston Villa.

Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Leicester City means the Whites have failed to score in their last three Premier League games.

It was a familiar story at the King Power Stadium, where relegation-threatened United were punished for failing to take their chances, after an overall performance which could, and possibly should, have garnered maximum points.

New coach Jesse Marsch’s slim options in attack to face Villa have become even more limited as substitute Tyler Roberts ruptured a hamstring tendon as Leeds effectively finished the game at Leicester with 10 men. The Welsh international has had surgery and is unlikely to play again this season.

The sight of last season’s top scorer Patrick Bamford on the bench was a boost, but it looks like he won’t be in good enough shape to start against Steven Gerrard’s men.

The odds are that Marsch will stick with the 4-2-2-2 system he debuted at Leicester with Dan James and Rodrigo linking up top. Hull-born Welsh international James had his best game in a Leeds shirt in the 3-3 draw at Villa last month in his stop-gap striker role, only the width of the bar denying him a hat-trick.

Leeds need to start showing the kind of clinical finishing displayed by Harvey Barnes, son of former York City goal-poacher Paul Barnes, who won the game on Saturday in Leicester’s only meaningful attack of the second half with a crisp angled strike. It was his fourth goal in as many appearances against Leeds.

Marsch has inherited a problem which often left revered predecessor Marcelo Bielsa a frustrated man. United’s front-foot football creates plenty of chances but their conversion rate remains low.

Leeds did look better defensively with goalkeeper Illan Meslier having much less to do than his opposite number Kasper Schmeichel but United still have not kept a clean sheet since their injury-time penalty winner at home to Crystal Palace on November 30.

Diego Llorente is touch-and-go to be included in the squad to face Villa after injury while fellow defender Leo Hjelde remains out with a knee injury which may require season-ending surgery. Long-term absentees Liam Cooper and midfielder Kalvin Phillips are moving closer to involvement with the match-day squad.

Villa will arrive at Elland Road after securing back-to-back wins against Brighton and Southampton. The 4-0 demolition of the Saints at the weekend was inspired by Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho, who scored one and set up the two other goals against Leeds in last month’s Villa Park thriller.

That was the last time Leeds managed to pick up a point. Since then the Whites have lost five successive games to sink closer to the relegation zone but all the teams below them also lost in the latest round of games.

On the same night Leeds tackle Villa at Elland Road, bottom club Norwich host Chelsea, Watford travel to Wolves and Newcastle, who have surged away from the drop zone, go to Southampton.