Newly-promoted Premier League side Leeds United are set to face off against Frank Lampard’s in-form Chelsea team at the weekend. Since the start of the current campaign, facing the Whites has become a tough challenge for a majority of the teams in the division, with Marcelo Bielsa’s men giving the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool a tough time out on the pitch. Considering the form that Chelsea have been displaying, most neutrals would likely be expecting a Blues win, but completely discounting United’s chances could prove to be a mistake.
While Chelsea find themselves in 3rd place on the Premier League table, Bielsa’s side currently sit in 12th place, just a point off the likes of Manchester City and Aston Villa. The Blues’ latest league outing saw them draw 0-0 against Tottenham Hotspur, in a fixture that would’ve given the United manager a lot of insight into how this Chelsea team is actually setup. The Whites, on the other hand, managed a narrow 1-0 win against Everton last weekend, where a late strike from Rafinha proved to be the difference between the sides.
The Whites have a number of players who are doubts for this clash, with the knock to former Manchester City wide-man Jack Harrison the most concerning of the lot. However, veteran midfielder Pablo Hernandez is set to return from injury, although whether or not Bielsa throws him into the starting eleven immediately remains to be seen. Jamie Shackleton is also a doubt for this clash after a slight muscular niggle and Diego Llorente remains a question as well. Both Gaetano Berardi and Adam Forshaw have been ruled out of contention for this outing.
Here Is The Predicted 4-4-1-1 Leeds United Lineup Vs Chelsea:
Predicted 4-4-1-1 Leeds United Lineup Vs Chelsea
20-year-old Illan Meslier has been the first-choice keeper for Bielsa’s team since the start of the current season. Having made quite the name for himself in this division, it doesn’t come as too much of a surprise that he has made the number one role his own for the Whites. In front of the youngster, expect the usual centre-half partnership of Robin Koch and Liam Cooper to start. Stuart Dallas could be given the nod in the left-back role, because they will likely need Ezgjan Alioski elsewhere on the pitch, while Luke Ayling is set to operate on the right side.
Although Ezgjan Alioski often plays at left-back for the Whites, his versatility allows him to operate as a winger as well. That’s exactly what Marcelo Bielsa could look to do for this clash. Last weekend’s goalscorer Rafinha is expected to start over on the opposite flank as well. Mateusz Klick and Kalvin Phillips could take up the two central roles on the pitch, and the duo will be responsible for acting as the main link between the Whites’ defence and attack lines. Breaking this Chelsea defence down will not be an easy task, and the Leeds engine room is sure to have their hands full on this regard.
Former Chelsea academy graduate Patrick Bamford is likely to continue leading the line again for this clash. Although the attacker’s finishing isn’t the greatest in the world, his movement and positioning help this Leeds side push forward, and his presence will be vital to a lot of the positive things that Bielsa’s team is able to produce on the weekend. Summer signing Rodrigo is likely to start in the number ten role just in behind the Englishman, offering direct support to Bamford up front.