Leeds roster set to start against West Brom
Leeds United end 2020 with a trip to the Midlands to face West Brom, where victory could be enough to see them in the top half of the Premier League table if further results unfold.
The hosts appear rejuvenated following the appointment of Sam Allardyce as manager, and having gone to Anfield to take a point from Liverpool, confidence will be on the table after a heated display.
Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds, meanwhile, have stepped up to beat Burnley this weekend,
rebounding well after conceding six to Manchester United. Here, 90 mins look at how the praised Argentine should put his side for a game that will pit two completely different styles against each other.
Illan Meslier (GK) – After a shaky performance against Manchester United, Meslier rebounded with a clean sheet that boosts confidence this weekend, albeit a bit lucky.
Stuart Dallas (RB) – The 29-year-old all-rounder is extremely fit and should retain his place in the Leeds XI.
Luke Ayling (CB) – Ayling was formidable against Burnley, taking the lead in defense in the absence of injured skipper Liam Cooper.
Pascal Struijk (CB) – With Cooper and Robin Koch sidelined, Bielsa has few options at her disposal other than Pascal Struijk.
Ezgjan Alioski (LB) – Not a left-back by trade, Alioski is another player competently filling a role that is not natural to him. Go ahead at every opportunity.
Kalvin Phillips (DM) – Phillips played a deeper role this weekend as Leeds moved up to three at the back, but the 25-year-old is expected to be back in a sustaining role ahead of a four here.
Raphinha (RW) – Leeds’ signing of the deadline is quickly becoming one of the first names on the squad sheet. Dynamic and direct in attack, he has a lot of rhythm to burn.
Jamie Shackleton (CM) – Mateusz Klich has played a lot of football in Leeds’ first half of the season and Jamie Shackleton has impressed from the bench. Could afford a start here.
Pablo Hernandez (CM) – A few neat little cameos in recent weeks could give veteran Hernandez a start at the expense of big-money summer signing Rodrigo, another player who has been invited to play out of his position by Bielsa.
Ian Poveda (LW) – Jack Harrison has been running on empty lately, so a trip to West Brom is the perfect time to reward Poveda with a first Premier League start.
Patrick Bamford (ST) – Rest and recovery are important to any player, but Bamford won’t be willing to give up his place given the form he is in. Pocketed the winner from the penalty spot last time around, and has looked impressive on the road throughout the season.