Sunday, August 14, 2022

Raphinha To Return, Koch Misses Out | Predicted 4-1-4-1 Leeds United Lineup vs Liverpool

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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.

After yet another loss to Manchester United, Leeds United are desperately looking for an upturn of fortunes as they lock horns with Liverpool on Wednesday. Seemingly sliding down the wrong end of the table, a win could be imperative for Marcelo Bielsa’s men if they are to avoid getting dipped into the relegation battle during the business end of the campaign.

Predicted Leeds United Lineup vs Liverpool

Defence

Leeds United are set to remain without the services of captain Liam Cooper, and it appears they have been dealt with a fresh injury blow in the form of Robin Koch. The German picked up a head injury against Manchester United and concussion protocols might rule him out for at least six days.

Koch’s absence may have major repercussions in the team selection, with Charlie Cresswell likely to come into the side and occupy the central defensive role, alongside Diego Llorente.

On a bright note, Stuart Dallas is back to full fitness and remains likely to start at left-back, ahead of Junior Firpo. There is no looking past Luke Ayling on the opposite flank as Leeds United brace themselves for a tricky outing against Liverpool.

Illan Meslier is a guaranteed starter in goal as well, with the young Frenchman eyeing an ambitious clean sheet against the Reds, which might not be impossible given the absences of Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota.

Leeds United (Koch)
Leeds United’s German defender Robin Koch reacts as he leaves the pitch after receiving medication following a collision with Manchester United’s Scottish midfielder Scott McTominay during the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Manchester United at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on February 20, 2022. – RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
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Midfield

Koch’s injury could see Pascal Struijk occupying the holding midfield role. The young Dutchman will be in charge of providing the cover for the leaky backline, while offering support for the two advanced midfielders in Adam Forshaw and Mateusz Klich.

Given Struijk’s inexperience, it won’t be surprising to see Forshaw dropping deep to operate as an auxiliary number six, at times, whereas the onus will be on Klich to offer the creative impetus going forward.

Attack

Changes could be in order in the attacking department, as Raphinha looks to return to the starting eleven. The Brazilian should operate in his usual right-wing slot, with Jack Harrison set to occupy the opposite flank. These two wide attackers will look to cause menace going forward and utilise the space left behind by Liverpool’s marauding fullbacks.

As for the number nine slot, it is a toss-up between Daniel James and Rodrigo Moreno. James remains the favourite to start, although it won’t be surprising to see Joe Gelhardt also getting a look in.

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