By Sam Stone

8th Dec, 2022 | 11:10am

Leeds United predicted XI v Elche: Willy Gnonto to start, Adam Forshaw to miss out

Leeds United take on La Liga side Elche on Thursday evening and Jesse Marsch could look to field a team with a blend of youth and experience.

We expect a fairly experienced defence to be picked by the American, with Joel Robles set to start in goal as Illan Meslier is currently out of action with an illness.

Since moving to Elland Road, the Spanish goalkeeper has featured just twice, with his most recent outing coming against Wolves in the League Cup.

Luke Ayling should start at right back, with Rasmus Kristensen enjoying an extended period off after representing Denmark at the World Cup in Qatar. Liam Cooper will almost certainly be given the nod in the centre of defence and he should be partnered by Robin Koch, providing the German recovers from an injury precaution which kept him out of training on Wednesday (7 December).

With Junior Firpo suffering from a groin strain (Leeds official website, 4 December), Pascal Struijk will likely continue in the left-back role, with the Whites certainly looking to bolster that area in January.

Tyler Adams being away after the World Cup means we could see Marsch give Darko Gyabi some minutes in the centre of midfield alongside Marc Roca. With Mateusz Klich and Adam Forshaw facing uncertain futures, it makes sense for the former Manchester City youngster to be given a first-team shot.

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In the front four positions, Rodrigo will start up front with Patrick Bamford currently out of action and he could be joined by 19-year-old striker Mateo Joseph, who made his Leeds debut at Molineux in the League Cup.

We could also see the American giving Willy Gnonto a run out from the start, with Crysencio Summerville potentially playing alongside the young Italian.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites are now scouting an attacker at the World Cup and a January move appears to be on the cards for them.