Athletic journalist Phil Hay believes that it’s highly likely that Marcelo Bielsa will name an unchanged Leeds United line-up for the game against Southampton tonight.

That would see Diego Llorente remain on the bench after his return there for the game against Wolves.

Kalvin Phillips and Rodrigo are also both missing through injury, along with Ian Poveda, Gaetano Berardi and Robin Koch.

Writing on The Athletic, Hay said, “Prospect of an unchanged line-up is high after the performance against Wolves.”

That would mean the line-up for tonight’s game would be as follows: Meslier; Dallas, Struijk, Cooper, Ayling; Klich, Shackleton, Roberts, Raphinha, Harrison; Bamford.

The game kicks off at 6pm tonight at Elland Road and is live on Sky Sports.

How to cope with two up top?

Southampton play with two up top so it will be fascinating to see what Bielsa does to combat this.

He normally plays with a back-three against that formation and that could see Diego Llorente start.

However, there are other options that could see the unchanged line-up that Hay thinks is highly likely.

Ayling could play with Struijk and Cooper in a back-three, with Dallas and Shackleton as the wing-backs.

Against Wolves, Bielsa didn’t have a defined defensive midfielder and he could do the same again today.

So when will Llorente come back to the first-team? It could be that Bielsa wants to play him in the Under-23s first – that was what he said after the last injury before his plans were scuppered by an injury to Robin Koch.

The next Under-23s game is on Monday which would see Llorente sit out the game tonight and the game against Villa on Saturday.

We don’t want to see him rushed back. However, he was declared fit for the last game against Wolves and the team needs him.

In other Leeds United news, Dermot Gallagher delivers verdict on controversial Leeds incident in clash v Wolves


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