Leeds United are eyeing their third consecutive win in the Premier League as they face Newcastle United on Saturday. It is a vital game for the Yorkshire giants knowing another victory could potentially help them move out of the relegation scrap while further compounding the troubles for Newcastle United, one of the prime relegation candidates.
Predicted Leeds United Lineup Vs Newcastle United
Leeds United are once again missing some key players in defence due to injuries, including Liam Cooper, who is at least out until March. He is joined by Junior Firpo and Charlie Cresswell, effectively leaving Marcelo Bielsa devoid of too many options in defence.
Firpo’s likely absence, in particular, could be a major blow as Bielsa looks to re-shift Stuart Dallas at left-back. It does mean Luke Ayling may have to move back to his right-back position.
Fortunately for Leeds, Diego Llorente is back from his yellow card suspension. The Spaniard is in contention to form the central defensive partnership alongside Pascal Struijk. The onus will be on these two to keep Newcastle quiet, although goalkeeper Illan Meslier should brace himself for yet another busy evening in goal nonetheless.
One of two major injury blows for Leeds United in the win over West Ham was Adam Forshaw. With Kalvin Phillips already missing through injury, Bielsa could be forced to return to a 4-1-4-1 with Robin Koch serving as the lone holding midfielder.
The German international is set to be partnered by Mateusz Klich and Rodrigo Moreno in the slightly advanced midfield roles. Rodrigo, in particular, will be given much more attacking freedom and his attacking support could go a long way in helping Leeds breach the lines of the opposition backline.
All eyes will be on Jack Harrison this weekend after the former Man City winger scored a hat-trick against West Ham. Operating on the left flank, he is a danger-man for Newcastle United due to his direct runs into the final third.
Another crucial attacking outlet for Leeds is Raphinha on the opposite flank. The Brazilian offers more trickery out wide and could cause problems for the NUFC fullbacks. It will be interesting to see how he and Harrison create chances for the lone forward in Daniel James this weekend.