Despite a stellar start to their first Premier League campaign in 16 years, Leeds United must find a way back this weekend against Arsenal following successive defeats against Leicester City and Crystal Palace ahead of the international break. The Gunners, too, endured a 3-0 humiliation at the Emirates versus Aston Villa and should prepare themselves for yet another tricky test, this time on the Road, against Marcelo Bielsa’s men.
The Whites have conceded four times in each of their past two outings and the veteran Argentine is unlikely to alter the setup irrespective of their frailty at the back. The Whites have attuned to Bielsa’s 4-1-4-1 and are likely to be fielded in a similar formation on Sunday evening.
4-1-4-1 Leeds United Predicted Lineup To Face Arsenal
Ever since Kiko Casilla’s suspension last season, 20-year-old Illan Meslier has retained the ‘number 1′ status and would continue to do so having impressed with his sharpness and reflexes between the sticks.
While Diego Llorente is still recovering from a groin strain, Robin Koch and skipper Liam Cooper are fit to start at the heart of the backline. Luke Ayling should continue as a right fullback whereas versatile Stuart Dallas must get the nod over Ezgjan Alioski down the left-hand side of Leeds’ ‘back four’.
Kalvin Phillips’ potential return (from a shoulder injury) in the middle of the park would be a significant boost considering his presence and effectivity in the ‘hole’ between the backline and ‘midfield four’. Neither Pascal Struijk nor Mateusz Klich managed to replicate a similar show in the previous fixtures and the fans, therefore, would love to see the Englishman back in action for such an intriguing contest at Elland Road.
Rodrigo self-isolated himself for a couple of weeks after showing COVID-19 symptoms and his return to full training would allow Bielsa to restore Dallas in the left-back slot and make way for the Spaniard in central midfield. Mateusz Klich, too, should operate from an advanced role if Phillips makes it to the matchday squad whereas Helder Costa and Jack Harrison are expected to feature down the wide ahead of Raphinha and Alioski who might be introduced at some stage if the situation demands.
In-form Patrick Bamford is in the Golden Boot race with 7 league goals already. The ex-Chelsea centre-forward would look to threaten the Arsenal defence with his pace, flair and poaching instinct while spearheading the Leeds attack.