Marcelo Bielsa is likely to name an unchanged Leeds United starting line-up to take on Crystal Palace on Monday night, according to The Athletic journalist Phil Hay.
Leeds welcome Palace to Elland Road after suffering a second consecutive home defeat at the hands of Everton last Wednesday.
Although Roy Hodgson has options to name a side with a front-two or a lone striker, ex-Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Hay reports it’s likely Bielsa will stick with the same side and system that lost 2-1 to Everton.
Writing on The Athletic website, Hay said: “I think it will be the same XI. Hodgson appears to have used one up front in the past couple of games and it’s worked for him so it might be that he does the same this evening. I expect them to be pretty cautious.”
If Hay is right, it means Illan Meslier will start in goals behind a back-four of Luke Ayling, Liam Cooper, Pascal Struijk and Ezgjan Alioski.
Kalvin Phillips, Stuart Dallas and Mateusz Klich will take up the central midfield roles with Raphinha on the right-wing and Jack Harrison on the left.
Patrick Bamford, who’s scored once and supplied three assists in his last two Premier League appearances, will start up front.
Consistency the key?
Bielsa has found himself changing his starting line-up way more than he would have liked to this season.
Injuries have played a massive role but so has the lack of a proper central midfielder with Rodrigo having to be replaced by Dallas in the midfield while he’s sidelined.
We’re not going to question Bielsa’s methods because they’ve brought us nothing but success in his two and a half years at the club.
He’s comfortable having injuries in what is quite a small squad compared to most others in the Premier League.
He knows that his back-up players are versatile and know his system well while the integration between the first-teams and Under-23s squad means there are always enough bodies available.
We do need a new central midfielder in the summer and possibly a new, out-and-out left-back but for now, we’re not too concerned by the injuries.
Struijk is impressing while Robin Koch and Diego Llorente are out and Dallas has proven himself to be a decent operator in the middle of the midfield when called upon.
Palace will be a tough team to beat on Monday but they are not impossible to overcome and we believe the same XI that lost to Everton can win against the Eagles.
In other Leeds United news, this Spanish playmaker is perfect for Victor Orta amid the latest update on the Elland Road director of football.