Sunday, June 26, 2022

Struijk Returns, Bamford Misses Out | Predicted 4-1-4-1 Leeds United Lineup Vs Watford

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

Leeds United are still eyeing for their first victory of the Premier League campaign as they take on Watford on Saturday. The Whites are currently languishing at the bottom end of the league table with three points from six matches. They are in desperate need of a turnaround, with Marcelo Bielsa hoping to secure his team’s first win of the league season against newly-promoted Watford.

Predicted Leeds United Lineup Vs Watford


Bielsa will continue to deal with several injury issues in the defensive department, with last summer’s marquee additions Diego Llorente and Robin Koch remaining unavailable through injuries.

Luke Ayling did travel with the squad, though, during the West Ham game. As such, we are expecting him to make the starting eleven on Saturday, starting ahead of Jamie Shackleton at right-back.

Moreover, Pascal Struijk is now back in contention after serving a three-game suspension. He will replace the young Charlie Cresswell, thus forming the central defensive pairing alongside Liam Cooper while Junior Firpo remains a guaranteed starter at left-back.

There should be no changes in goal either, with Illan Meslier set to continue in between the sticks. The Frenchman will be desperate for a rare clean sheet following yet another difficult start to the camping.

Predicted Leeds United Lineup Vs Watford - Struijk returns.
Burnley v Leeds United Premier League 29/08/2021. Leeds United defender Pascal Struijk 21 arrives at the ground during the Premier League match between Burnley and Leeds United at Turf Moor, Burnley, England on 29 August 2021. Burnley Turf Moor Lancashire England Editorial use only DataCo restrictions apply See PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK , Copyright: xSimonxDaviesx PSI-13478-0002


Even though it has consistently underperformed, Bielsa isn’t expected to tinker too much in the midfield department. Kalvin Phillips, for one, remains a guaranteed starter in the holding midfield role. His composure and passing will be critical in helping Leeds United dominate the proceedings.

Alongside him, Stuart Dallas has failed to hit the heights of last season. But he remains a key operator for the Whites nonetheless, featuring alongside Mateusz Klich in the advanced midfield position. He is, though, a potential candidate at right-back, should Ayling fail to return to full fitness.


Leeds United will have to make do without the services of their star striker Patrick Bamford once again, which means Rodrigo Moreno could be given the task of spearheading the frontline.

There shouldn’t be too many changes elsewhere, though we do expect Daniel James to make way for Jack Harrison, thus restoring the preferred wide attacking combination of him and Raphinha.

James does remain an excellent alternative, if required, along with Tyler Roberts. Bielsa even has the option of deploying the young striking duo of Joe Gelhardt and Sam Greenwood.

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