By Mark Smith

13th Oct, 2021 | 6:10am

Predicted Leeds United starting XI v Southampton

Leeds United finally return to Premier League action this weekend as they travel to take on Southampton on Saturday.

Marcelo Bielsa may have numerous problems to deal with due to injuries as well as COVID-19 issues going through the squad.

Regardless of that, the Whites will be looking to build on their first three points of the season last time out against Watford.

Illan Meslier got his first clean sheet in that victory and will be looking for yet another down on the south coast.

The back four should remain unchanged too.

Junior Firpo and Jamie Shackleton managed to keep the likes of Ismaila Sarr quiet for the entirety of the 90 minutes and will start again.

Diego Llorente has highlighted his class since returning from injury, and he will partner Liam Cooper against the Saints.

Kalvin Phillips was forced to drop out of the England squad this week, but there were hopes that he will be fine and should start on Saturday after this rest.

Stuart Dallas and Mateusz Klich starting together in midfield have delivered stability into the side and helped going forward as well as in defence.

The big doubt is Raphinha, and given that Brazil’s next game is on Friday, he probably won’t be ready to start – having said that, he may be available from the bench.

Phil Hay shared recently that the winger can come out of quarantine to train and play matches, so if he is back in England in time, he should be fine to feature at some stage.

That means Dan James and Jack Harrison will start, and Patrick Bamford will finish off the line-up having had a further two weeks to recover from this injury.

Here’s how we expect the Whites to line up…

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