MOT View: Big Bielsa dilemma with possible injury & Casilla back – Predicted Leeds XI v Barnsley
Leeds United are on the brink of a return to the Premier League after a stunning run of form in the run-in.
People won’t stop talking about Brentford but in the 11 games since the two sides met and drew 1-1, Leeds have won nine, drawn one and lost one for a return of 27 points.
Brentford have won seven, drawn three and lost one for 24 points.
Those 27 points have left Leeds with one foot in the top-flight and if Brentford drop any points to Preston on Wednesday, a win at Elland Road will be enough.
There are a couple of questions over the line-up.
Kiko Casilla is available for selection after serving his ban for racist abuse but it would be a massive surprise if he came back in.
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Kalvin Phillips is a slight injury doubt after struggling in the second half against Swansea. However, Marcelo Bielsa said after the game that he should be okay for Thursday.
That’s good – it wouldn’t feel right if Leeds got promoted without Phillips on the pitch.
The next question is over Pablo Hernandez and Gjanni Alioski. Leeds looked so much better with them on the pitch against Swansea, with Stuart Dallas and Tyler Roberts making way.
However, Hernandez has got more chance of being on the pitch when Leeds get promoted if he comes on in the second half. And Bielsa loves Dallas.
That’s why we think it’s going to be an unchanged line-up for Thursday’s game, with a proviso over the fitness of Phillips.
Bamford will be looking for his 17th goal of the season and Meslier will be playing with pressure on him for the first time.
This is the starting XI we think will be tasked with winning promotion on Thursday:
In other Leeds United news, ‘It was strange’ – Ally McCoist makes Leeds claim after latest twist in promotion race