We’re delighted to welcome former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Leeds United
Paul Robinson has said that it’s a “massive loss” for Leeds to have to go without Kalvin Phillips again at Elland Road tonight.
Leeds play Southampton in a fixture that was rearranged from its original date last month.
Phillips is missing still through injury, as is Rodrigo, Ian Poveda and Robin Koch.
Diego Llorente is fit after returning to the bench against Wolves but Robinson believes that Marcelo Bielsa will go with an unchanged line-up and added that Jamie Shackleton is the best option he has for replacing Phillips.
Talking exclusively to MOT Leeds News Robinson said, “Kalvin Phillips is such a massive miss for Leeds, and the priority for them this summer has to be a player who can do the same role as him but play somewhere else, too.
“We literally don’t have anyone who can do that role as effectively as he can, and the results without him show it.
“Saying that, Shackleton dropping in has been the best alternative that we’ve had there so far.
“I also thought Struijk looked really solid at the back, alongside Cooper, with Ayling at right-back.
“We’ve seen the manager this season, he’s rotated a bit more than he did in the Championship but he doesn’t like to rotate much. He doesn’t tend to change things.
“He took Alioski out of the team on Friday and that was the right thing to do. We played well and I think Bielsa would have been happy with all of his players.
“That was a drawn game all day, by the way, and no one would have been unhappy with a 1-1. Bielsa will have been pleased with what he saw from his players.
“Southampton are a bit different. When teams play two up top he generally goes to a back three.
“Whether that means that Llorente comes in and plays between Struijk and Cooper, we’ll have to wait and see. That’s a definite option.
“But it would mean one of either Tyler Roberts, Jamie Shackleton or Mateusz Klich coming out. We don’t know how match fit Llorente is and we definitely don’t want to see him breaking down again.
“Bielsa doesn’t like to change his team around, so naming an unchanged line-up is the most likely.”
This marks the third game in a row that Leeds will have played teams just below them in the Premier League.
Both Arsenal and Wolves have jumped ahead of us in the table and Southampton would do the same with a win tonight.
A win for Leeds would see us go back above Arsenal and Wolves into 10th. Both have played one more game than us.
In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay names highly-likely Leeds XI for clash v Southampton