MOT View: One player to be dropped by Bielsa - Leeds predicted XI v West Brom
Leeds United travel to West Brom on New Years Day in what promises to be the biggest match of the Championship season so far.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side snatched top-spot off the Baggies on Sunday as they lost 2-0 to Middlesbrough at The Hawthorns while the Whites left it late to win 5-4 away at Birmingham.
Bielsa is predicted to make just one change to his starting line-up ahead of Leeds’ trip to The Hawthorns and that is to drop Eddie Nketiah and replace the on-loan striker with Patrick Bamford.
Nketiah, 20, started his first game of the season at Birmingham with Bamford, 26, suffering from a dead leg.
According to The Athletic journalist Phil Hay, the former Chelsea striker should recover in time to play against West Brom as the league leaders take on second-placed Albion in the Black Country.
Bielsa is a well-known fan of consistency and is unlikely to make any other changes than recalling Bamford.
Kiko Casilla may have shown he is prone to errors at St Andrew’s but is pretty much nailed-on to start in between the sticks at West Brom behind a back-four of Luke Ayling, Ben White, Liam Cooper and Ezgjan Alioski.
Kalvin Phillips is likely to anchor the midfield with Stuart Dallas and Mateusz Klich in the slightly more advanced roles.
Helder Costa is expected to line up on the right-wing with Jack Harrison on the left.
Completing the starting line-up is Bamford, who is predicted to take the place of Nketiah with the Daily Mail reporting that the on-loan striker is just days away from being recalled by Arsenal.
Leeds have won their last two meetings with West Brom but have not tasted victory at The Hawthorns since 2002.
Avoiding defeat would see the Whites remain top of the Championship table but Bielsa and his men know that picking up three points at West Brom would be a major boost to their bid for automatic promotion to the Premier League.
In other Leeds United news, Sheffield Wednesday want to sign this player who is on the cusp of leaving Elland Road.