Marcelo Bielsa has announced his first Premier League team of the season, ahead of the massive clash between Leeds United and Liverpool at Anfield.
There’s room for one of Leeds’ new signings, with Robin Koch getting the nod in the centre of defence.
But there’s bad news at the back for Leeds, with Liam Cooper being ruled out with a calf issue.
Pascal Struijk comes in to deputise in what will be a massive game for the youngster. We had thought Luke Ayling would move across but Bielsa obviously has faith in the 21-year-old.
Leeds’ record signing Rodrigo has to make do with a place on the bench, with Patrick Bamford leading the line.
The team news was announced on the official Leeds Twitter page ahead of the 5.30pm kick-off, with the game being shown live on Sky Sports.
📰 Your #LUFC Starting XI…
— Leeds United (@LUFC) September 12, 2020
As expected, Illan Meslier gets his Premier League debut, with Bielsa preferring him to Kiko Casilla.
Casilla is on the bench and set for a season as number two behind the youngster.
Meslier does have experience of playing against a Premier League side in the colours of Leeds, as he impressed in the Whites 1-0 loss to Arsenal in last season’s FA Cup.
Some Leeds fans might be surprised – and maybe even dismayed – to see Bamford lead the line ahead of Rodrigo but he’s earned the right at a shot in the top-flight.
And it goes to show Bielsa’s trust in the English striker, putting him up against the Premier League’s best defence in what may prove to be the White’s trickiest game of the season.
Bamford has previous experience in the Premier League, while Rodrigo will need to adjust to the English game, having not played in England since 2011.
Tonight’s game is a baptism of fire for Leeds – there aren’t many harder tasks in world football than to try and pick up a result at Anfield.
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