MOT View: Bielsa to make big change after key player update - Leeds predicted XI v Fulham
Leeds United will play a Premier League match at Elland Road for the first time since May 2004 when they welcome Fulham to West Yorkshire on Saturday.
It will go from one extreme to the other for the Whites on their return to the top-flight away playing away to reigning champions Liverpool last week to playing the Championship play-off winners at home this weekend.
Marcelo Bielsa is predicted to make one change from the team that lost 4-3 at Anfield and 11 changes from the team that lost on penalties to Hull City in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.
Liam Cooper is set to return to the Leeds defence following a short-term spell on the sidelines with an injury with BBC Radio Leeds journalist Adam Pope relaying Bielsa’s update on the Scottish centre-back last week.
Although Pascal Struijk performed well against Liverpool, he is more than likely going to be dropped by Bielsa for Fulham’s visit to Elland Road.
Illan Meslier is predicted to return in goals with Kiko Casilla dropping back to the bench after he captained Leeds in their shock defeat to Hull.
We are likely to see Robin Koch and Cooper join forces in the heart of the defence for the first time this weekend and hopefully Cooper’s leadership and experience will see the Whites concede far fewer goals than they did at Anfield. Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas are expected to start at right-back and left-back respectively.
As is always the case when he’s available, Kalvin Phillips is likely to start in the holding midfield roles with Mateusz Klich and Pablo Hernandez playing ahead of him.
Helder Costa and Jack Harrison both impressed against Liverpool and are predicted to resume on the two wings.
Up front, record-signing Rodrigo may have started against Hull but we doubt that Bielsa sees him as being ready to start a Premier League game just yet. Patrick Bamford is bound to start after scoring against Liverpool.
In other Leeds United news, an Athletic journalist has shared a key update on Harry Wilson’s potential move to Elland Road.