A defeat to Swansea City before the international break handed Leeds United their first league defeat of the new campaign. The Whites have now dropped to third in the Championship standings and should aim to bounce back on Sunday evening at Oakwell against the newly-promoted Barnsley.
The Tykes, on the other hand, are undergoing a disastrous run having failed to win a single game since their opening gameweek victory against Fulham. Staying in the second tier should be their priority this term, and a result against the West Yorkshire giants would boost them up significantly for the remainder of the season.
Leeds United Team News Against Barnsley
Leeds have a couple of injury concerns in Luke Ayling and Tyler Roberts. They are closing in on regaining full fitness, but the weekend contest would be too early for the pair to stake a claim in the matchday squad.
Leeds United Formation Against Barnsley
Marcelo Bielsa has not altered his 4-1-4-1 formation since taking charge of the Whites last summer. This set-up offers him the flexibility to tweak the strategy and execute gameplan depending upon the status of the match.
Despite making costly errors that squandered Leeds’ promotion hopes, Bielsa has given Kiko Casilla a second chance to resurrect his career. They have loaned in teenager Illan Meslier from Lorient on the transfer deadline day, but the Spaniard is tipped to keep his place between the sticks after a steady start this term.
Skipper Liam Cooper has been rewarded with a new contract alongside Stuart Dallas who has exhibited sheer commitment, professionalism and versatility under the veteran Argentine. The latter would retain his place as a makeshift right-back in the absence of Ayling, whereas Cooper should be partnered alongside young Brighton & Hove Albion loanee Ben White in the heart of the Whites backline. Barry Douglas has been in-and-out through injuries but is expected to start the game in his preferred left-back role.
Kalvin Phillips has been a revelation in Bielsa’s tutelage and is key to their set-up while operating in the hole. The homegrown prodigy has penned a long-term contract a few days back as Leeds fended off interest from Aston Villa. Therefore, he would be cheered by the travelling fans who must be relieved now after an anxious summer.
Mateusz Klich and Adam Forshaw are the preferred central midfield pair so far this season. They have been quite impressive in the middle of the park and would be accompanied by Pablo Hernandez and Jack Harrison from the flanks. Ezgjan Alioski and Helder Costa might have to wait a while before grabbing a start in their preferred wide attacking roles.
The gaffer has two efficient centre-forwards to choose from and should go for the experience of Patrick Bamford ahead of exciting Eddie Nketiah who has impressed on loan from Arsenal. Both, however, need to be more clinical in front of goal and should convert the chances that are being created in the attacking third.