By Daniel Feliciano

1st Mar, 2023 | 4:10pm

Crysencio Summerville and Rasmus Kristensen to be axed - Leeds United predicted XI v Chelsea

Javi Gracia is unlikely to make too many changes to his Leeds starting lineup despite defeat to Fulham in the FA Cup when they face Chelsea on Saturday (4 March).

The Whites claimed their first win since October when they beat Southampton at Elland Road last weekend in Javi Gracia’s first game in charge, but were beaten in midweek by Fulham despite a good performance.

That is likely to see the manager stick with what he knows for the most part, although a senior duo could be in line to return to the team to add some more experience for the battle against relegation.

Illan Meslier continues in goal as the number one, and will want to make amends for his error in the opening goal against Fulham where he was caught wildly out of position.

Luke Ayling has established himself as the first-choice right-back and should continue there, while Robin Koch is the first choice centre-back too with some excellent performances this season.

Max Wober missed the game in midweek with many believing he was still feeling the effects of his shoulder issue, but club captain and senior player Liam Cooper is expected to be fit for the game at Stamford Bridge and could come straight back into the side.

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Junior Firpo netted the winner against the Saints last week and has performed well under Gracia so far, so despite Pascal Struijk’s return to fitness too he should start again.

Gracia opted for a midfield three of Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie and Marc Roca and they performed pretty well for the most part, helping the team create plenty of chances that weren’t converted, so it seems likely they’ll stay in place once again.

In attack Georginio Rutter impressed in his first start and was unfortunately denied his first goal thanks to a really soft refereeing decision. But his movement and dribbling was good, and that could see him keep his place in the side but moved over to the right-wing.

That would see Crysencio Summerville competing with Willy Gnonto on the left, but it’s a battle he is likely to lose because the Italian is the bright spark in most positive Leeds performances this season.

Patrick Bamford remains the only natural number nine in the squad and as a senior player in the squad he should start up front once again despite his poor form in recent weeks, meaning Gracia will have options such as Summerville, Jack Harrison and Brenden Aaronson on the bench.

Predicted Leeds XI v Chelsea: Meslier; Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Firpo; Adams, McKennie, Roca; Rutter, Bamford, Gnonto

In other Leeds news, a CBS journalist was furious with one Leeds star for what he did against Fulham.

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