Following an early exit from the FA Cup, Leeds United will be hopeful of restarting their Premier League campaign on a positive note as they play hosts to Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday. The Whites were initially set to play Southampton on Wednesday, but the match was postponed amid Covid-19 spike, ultimately giving Marcelo Bielsa’s men an extended rest heading into this game.
Predicted Leeds United Lineup Vs Brighton & Hove Albion
In the last game, Leeds United were boosted by the return of Liam Cooper. The club captain featured in the defeat to Crawley Town but is likely to retain his place in the side alongside Luke Ayling. The right-back should continue to feature in central defence, in light of the absence of new signing Robin Koch and Diego Llorente, who is slowly recovering to full fitness again.
Other defensive changes to the side should see Stuart Dallas coming back into the side and occupying the right-back slot while Illan Meslier is almost guaranteed to replace Kiko Casilla in goal. Ezgjan Alioski, meanwhile, should continue at left-back due to no available alternatives.
In midfield, Bielsa’s decision to play Pascal Struijk at holding midfield was logical given the fact that he will miss star player Kalvin Phillips for this fixture due to suspension. It essentially means Struijk is now a guaranteed starter in the number six role, where he will look to provide the balance and solidity.
Mateusz Klich should support the Dutchman and Rodrigo Moreno, although the latter is likely to operate further upfront, almost as a secondary striker. Bielsa does have the option of going with Pablo Hernandez should he opt for more creativity while Jamie Shackleton should provide more energy and enthusiasm.
Bielsa should make wholesale changes to the attacking unit that failed to score against Crawley Town in the last match. Patrick Bamford, in particular, should replace Rodrigo as the primary forward. The ex-Chelsea starlet could play a key role in breaching the Brighton defence this weekend.
Bamford should be assisted by the wide-attacking duo of Raphinha and Jack Harrison, both of who are set to come in at the expense of Ian Poveda and Helder Costa. It will be interesting to see whether Bielsa utilises any of those two as a substitute in the second half.