By Craig Scott

23rd Oct, 2022 | 12:08pm

Jesse Marsch to axe Junior Firpo in at least three Leeds United changes v Fulham - Phil Hay

Jesse Marsch is predicted to axe Junior Firpo from his starting line-up on Sunday with Pascal Struijk to return to the Leeds United side against Fulham at Elland Road, according to Phil Hay.

After the defeat to Leicester on Thursday, The Athletic journalist Hay has mooted at least three changes to Marsch’s starting line-up as the American finds himself under pressure to save his job in West Yorkshire.

Hay says Jack Harrison and Liam Cooper are also set to return.

Writing on The Athletic website on Sunday (23 October), Hay said: “You get big games and big games and I don’t think anyone can deny that today’s clash with Fulham is one of the latter. It feels pivotal for Jesse Marsch after a bad night at Leicester City on Thursday, and night which put him in harm’s way.

“The board at Leeds United have backed him in the 72 hours since and he remains in charge this afternoon but the events at the King Power Stadium have put huge pressure on him. When an away end reacts like they did at Leicester, it’s very difficult for a coach to recover. Marsch needs results and he needs them quickly, starting with Fulham today.

“Common sense tells you that he’ll go with the players he trusts most – which will surely mean recalls for Liam Cooper and Jack Harrison, not to mention Pascal Struijk coming back in at left-back. The left side of Leeds’ defence was seriously weak against Leicester and it was another poor performance from Junior Firpo, who just cannot make himself look like the answer there.

“Fulham’s form this season has been decent enough – 15 points from 11 games. And Mitrovic, who has always had a reputation for scoring in the Championship but not the Premier League, has been finishing at an outstanding rate so far. He has to be kept quiet and in aerial terms, Cooper is probably best suited to compete with him.”

Under pressure

Marsch did this to himself.

What on earth was going through his head when he made those changes to the side against Leicester?

If he thought that he needed to rest certain senior players then why didn’t he do that against Arsenal, a team which we were always likely to lose against?

Doing it against Leicester, who are bottom of the Premier League table going into Sunday’s matches, was inexcusable and we lost as a result of Marsch’s stupidity.

Diego Llorente, Firpo, Crysencio Summerville. Really?

Marsch threw that game and we deserved to lose it, even though Leicester were without their talisman James Maddison.

Llorente and Firpo have been terrible for a long time now and shouldn’t be starters.

Cooper, Pascal Struijk and Harrison simply must start versus Fulham.

In other Leeds United news, this multi-million Leeds player now faces a battle to save his career at Elland Road.