Monday, March 27, 2023

James To Start, Raphinha Misses Out | Predicted 3-3-3-1 Leeds United Lineup Vs Southampton

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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 aiming to build a winning momentum as they take on Southampton on Saturday. The Whites had headed into the international break with a crucial victory over Wolves and it is imperative that they follow it with another three points, as Marcelo Bielsa looks to guide his team to recovery after a difficult start to the campaign.

Predicted Leeds United Lineup Vs Southampton


The international break has not particularly favoured Bielsa as neither of his injured defenders in Robin Koch and Luke Ayling are back just yet. As such, the Argentine tactician will be forced to pick from his existing options.

He is expected to shift into a back three for this game, with captain Liam Cooper looking to spearhead the backline and help his team keep another clean sheet. Pascal Struijk should accompany him at the heart of the three-man backline, providing the brute force while Diego Llorente’s technical aspect, as well as the ability to read the game, could be vital in Leeds’ chances of keeping a clean sheet.

There should be not many changes elsewhere, with Illan Meslier continuing his place in between the sticks for Leeds United this weekend.

Predicted Leeds United Lineup Vs Southampton - Struijk to start.
BURNLEY, ENGLAND – MAY 15: Pascal Struijk of Leeds United looks on during the Premier League match between Burnley and Leeds United at Turf Moor on May 15, 2021 in Burnley, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
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Kalvin Phillips’ fitness remains a big question mark for Leeds United fans heading into this game. The Englishman did opt-out from the England squad during the international break owing to fitness issues, but we do expect him to get back to full fitness in time.

Phillips could thus operate at the base of Leeds United’s 4-3-3. He should be accompanied by the dynamic left wingback Junior Firpo as well as the versatile Stuart Dallas in the second line of press.

Mateusz Klich, meanwhile, will be tasked with the responsibility to operate in the hybrid number eight/ten position. The onus will be on the Pole to provide the creativity as well as helping out Phillips in the middle of the park.


Moving forward, Raphinha is almost unlikely to feature in this game for Leeds United. The Brazilian is entitled to international duty for his nation, which means we could expect a starting opportunity for new signing Daniel James.

The Welshman will be keen on making an impression in the final third, as he partners Rodrigo Moreno and Jack Harrison in the Leeds United frontline this weekend.

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