By George Overhill

13th Mar, 2022 | 1:05pm

Confirmed Leeds United XI v Norwich City: Patrick Bamford starts

Leeds United have confirmed Jesse Marsch’s starting XI for the must-win visit of Norwich City to Elland Road this afternoon.

The American saw the positive signs during the tight loss to Leicester in his first game evaporate in the midweek collapse to Aston Villa, and full-back Junior Firpo was stretchered off with a worrying injury.

The big news today is that Patrick Bamford has made his long-awaited return to the starting line up in attack, while Diego Llorente returns in the defence for injured Firpo and Mateusz Klich takes Robin Koch’s place.

Fans have been waiting months to see the England striker back in the XI from the off and he has a huge opportunity to score some crucial goals.

Everybody in the stadium will be holding their breath in the hope that he does not suffer any further injury problems after a nightmare campaign.

He is back in the nick of time to lead the line for a Whites side in desperate need of goals.

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Huge opportunity

The Canaries arrive on a run of six consecutive defeats in all competitions and haven’t won in the league since January.

The bottom side look nailed on to go down, and are probably the only side definitely worse than United at the moment.

The Whites’ Premier League form is actually worse in recent weeks, and the repeated thrashings they’ve received in that time makes their goal-difference the second worse in the division behind only the visitors’.

If Marsch can’t pull together a win here then hopes for a revival are going to be thin on the ground.

Three points at this stage would make a massive difference to the table and the confidence of the players, but a reverse would arguably have an even stronger negative effect.

The fans are out in force again at Elland Road, and they will hope to see a major improvement Villa defeat, because it surely cannot get much worse.

In other Leeds United news, Angus Kinnear has used the programme notes to deliver big news about his future.