Bielsa makes big James call, 25 y/o star axed in 2 changes: Predicted Leeds XI vs CPFC - opinion

Bielsa makes big James call, 25 y/o star axed in 2 changes: Predicted Leeds XI vs CPFC - opinion
© Provided by Football FanCast Leeds United players line up before Watford clash in the Premier League

Leeds United will be looking for only their third win of the Premier League season when they welcome Crystal Palace to Elland Road this evening, and manager Marcelo Bielsa could be tempted into some changes.

His side drew to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday evening in a game that they were awfully lucky to return to Yorkshire with anything from.

But how might the Whites lineup this evening? Here’s what Football FanCast are predicting…

Bielsa makes big James call, 25 y/o star axed in 2 changes: Predicted Leeds XI vs CPFC - opinion
© Provided by Football FanCast Predicted-Leeds-XI-vs-Palace

There could be two changes from the weekend, though we’re still unlikely to see either Luke Ayling or Patrick Bamford involved after featuring for the U23s on Monday.

Illan Meslier should remain between the sticks, though with a switch of tactics, we could see alterations to the backline.

At left-back, Junior Firpo is surely facing the axe after the 25-year-old’s nightmare display against Tariq Lamptey, so we could see a return for 6 foot 3 colossus Pascal Struik, who excelled against Leicester City.

Meanwhile, Liam Cooper and Diego Llorente keep their place in the middle, with Stuart Dallas reverting back to the right, in the continued absence of the vice-captain.

It does mean Kalvin Phillips moves out of defence into his natural defensive midfield role as Adam Forshaw and Rodrigo take up more advanced positions in the engine room.

Raphinha is probably one of the first names on the teamsheet, so he should line up on the right and he will be joined in attack by Jack Harrison on the left.

United lacked a cutting edge in the final third at the Amex Stadium, so we could see young academy striker Joe Gelhardt get the nod as an actual no.9. That decision would see a big call in dropping club-record signing Daniel James, who has scored just one goal in 12 appearances this term.

Predicted Leeds XI (4-1-4-1): Meslier; Struijk, Cooper, Llorente, Dallas; Phillips; Harrison, Forshaw, Rodrigo, Raphinha; Gelhardt.

AND in other news, Orta must secure Bielsa’s dream transfer at Leeds with “powerful” £18m-rated beast…


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