By Joe Ellis

2nd Oct, 2022 | 3:32pm

Leeds United confirmed XI v Aston Villa: Rodrigo returns up front

Leeds United are finally back in action this afternoon as Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa make the trip north to Elland Road for a Premier League encounter.

The Whites have not played any senior fixture since their 5-2 away defeat to Brentford on 3 September but have the chance to make amends in front of home support at a packed Elland Road.

Jesse Marsch is still without Stuart Dallas through injury and Archie Gray is also ruled out of the game with a fractured toe but everyone else is available for selection in some degree.

For the visit of the Villans, Marsch has made three changes to his Whites side with Rodrigo coming into the side in place of Joe Gelhardt and Rasmus Kristensen back in the side for Cody Drameh.

Villa have played much more recently having beaten Southampton 1-0 before the international break to put them within striking distance of Leeds United in the Premier League table.

Must win

There is no question that Leeds should have ambitions of a top-half finish this season and games like this at home to a team such as Villa because they are not on the Whites’ level.

Gerrard has found things very tough after his move to the Midlands last season and Villa have suffered as a result and this is where the ruthless edge is required from the Yorkshire side.

The only problem could be a lack of match practice for Leeds but with a team full of professional footballers, it should not come to be a problem and especially with many of the starters having been on international duty last week.

It isn’t a foregone conclusion by any stretch of the imagination, of course, because with the likes of Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings about, a goal is never too far away and Illan Meslier will need to be on top form.

But if both teams perform to their very best, then Marsch’s men should have enough to brush them aside and resume their ascent up the Premier League table.

In other Leeds United news, the boss is still not happy about what happened away at Brentford but he has accepted the FA’s decision.