Leeds United will be looking to bounce back to winning form when they travel to Villa Park to face Aston Villa on Friday. The Whites are coming on the back of a narrow defeat to Wolves in their last game, and an in-form Villa side could be an equally, if not more, demanding opposition as Marcelo Bielsa’s side look to register their third win of the campaign.
Predicted Leeds United Lineup vs Aston Villa
Bielsa is short of defensive options at the moment with new signing Diego Llorente ruled out for a few weeks after picking up an injury during the international break. Gaetano Berardi is also out following an ACL injury during the final day of last season.
It leaves Robin Koch as the only guaranteed starter in central defence, with Liam Cooper still a doubt after picking up a knock in training, just before the Wolves game.
Cooper’s fitness will be assessed ahead of the game while the likes of Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas are likely to retain their place in the fullback positions.
Ayling, however, could slot in at central defence should Cooper fail to recover in time. It could, in turn, force Dallas to operate at right-back, with Ezgjan Alioski operating on the opposite flank. Illan Meslier, meanwhile, is a guaranteed starter in goal.
Leeds United confirmed that key midfielder Kalvin Phillips would be out for at least six weeks after picking up an injury against Wolves. It serves as a massive blow for Bielsa who has very limited options when it comes to replacing the Englishman.
Pascal Struijk featured in a number six role during the backend of last season, and the youngster may once again have to feature in that position this time out.
The Dutchman is likely to receive additional support from Mateusz Klich while Pablo Hernandez may also return to the starting lineup, at the expense of Rodrigo Moreno.
Despite the arrival of Raphinha, Bielsa has no reason to shift away from the tried and tested wide offensive duo of Helder Costa and Jack Harrison, though the Brazilian is once again guaranteed to feature as a second-half substitute.
The Leeds United attack, meanwhile, should be spearheaded by Patrick Bamford, who will be looking for an improved performance after struggling against Wolves.
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