The new season is just around the corner, and Leeds United are set to take on Stoke City in their first encounter. The Whites pulled off a massive coup by convincing the highly rated Marcelo Bielsa to take charge, but the real test begins now.
United were slow off the mark in this transfer window, but more recently they have picked up stream in the transfer dealings. The signings of Barry Douglas and Patrick Bamford should particularly excite the Leeds United fan-base.
Bielsa would deploy his famous 3-3-1-3 formation, and it will be exciting to watch the team adjust to the new manager’s playing style and tactics. The pre-season friendlies were a mixed bag, and hopefully, there would be substantial improvements from the last time around.
Injury Concerns and Team News
Adam Forshaw is set to be a big miss in the lineup as he is ruled out for 6-8 weeks with an ankle ligament damage.
Predicted 3-3-1-3 Leeds United Lineup Vs Stoke City
Leeds United recently bought in Jamaal Blackman on loan from Chelsea, but it is expected that Biesla would go with Bailey Peacock-Farrell in between the sticks. Gaetano Berardi gave a good account of himself in the preseason, and he should be starting in the left-sided centre-back role. Kalvin Phillips is set to play as the central defender, and Liam Cooper would start alongside him to complete the back three.
With Ronaldo Vieira completing his move to Sampdoria, Lewis Baker can get a look in the midfield ahead of Mateusz Klich. The two wide men in midfield are expected to be Barry Douglas and Luke Ayling. Douglas would be the one to look out for down the left flank as he played an instrumental role in Wolves’ promotion last season.
Lewis Baker will play in central midfield. Samuel Saiz would be expected to start in the ‘Enganche’ role, i.e. he would play just behind the front three in a hole, with a lot of creative onus falling on his shoulders.
Pablo Hernandez will be expected to start down the right wing position. The experienced forward was one of the better performers for Leeds last season, and hopefully, he would be able to continue more of the same this season. Ezgjan Alioski will be the one to play in the left flank.
Patrick Bamford has recently joined the team so he will probably not feature in the starting lineup. Last season’s top scorer Kemar Roofe will be expected to lead the line. Bamford can come off the bench if Bielsa needs him in the second half of the game.
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