MOT View: Berardi and Roberts start – Predicted Leeds starting XI v Luton
After what has felt like the longest international break ever, Leeds United are back in action on Saturday as they travel to Kenilworth Road to take on struggling Luton Town.
Luton have lost their last four games in a row and sit one place above the relegation zone.
Reading thrashed them 3-0 in their last game, although they beat Bristol City by the same score in mid-October so they’re a side that’s capable of pulling out a result.
However, this is the sort of game that Leeds simply must win if they want automatic promotion.
The international break has given the Leeds injured plenty of time to recover but we think Saturday will be too soon for Liam Cooper, especially as Leeds now play three games in eight days.
That will mean Gaetano Berardi coming in at centre-back. He played 45 minutes for the Under-23s and that could signal him playing on Saturday.
Barry Douglas is back and played 45 minutes for the Under-23s on Monday but we don’t think he’ll dislodge Stuart Dallas at left-back.
Having said that, Dallas played 90 minutes against the Netherlands on Saturday and is likely to play 90 minutes against Germany tonight. He might need a rest.
The other big question is over Pablo Hernandez.
He played the first 45 minutes for the Under-23s on Monday and he’s obviously match fit again. However, Leeds have won the last two and scored twice in each game. Bielsa doesn’t like changing teams and he won’t like changing winning teams.
Hernandez could come in for Costa but we think he’ll stick with Jack Harrison, Mateusz Klich, Tyler Roberts and Costa.
Eddie Nketiah didn’t play in the Under-23s clash and that means it’s highly unlikely he’ll be fit for the Luton game. It gives Patrick Bamford another chance to score his first outfield goal since August.
It’s just the one change for us – Berardi for Cooper.
In other Leeds United news, Paul Robinson hails versatile Leeds star who has become a better player under Bielsa