By Pranav Shahaney

28th Sep, 2022 | 3:40pm

Luke Ayling starts - Beren Cross predicts Leeds United XI v Aston Villa

Beren Cross predicts Luke Ayling to make his first start of the season when Leeds United take on Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday.

The fan favourite has been missing in action since the end of last season with an injury and only has played 20 minutes of this season off the bench against Brentford.

Rasmus Kristensen has played in his stead and has not yet adapted ideally to life in the English top flight.

Cross wrote in his LeedsLive Q&A, “We’ll hear from Marsch on Friday, so he will give us the latest on injury news, but yes, if there are no new issues since the Brentford game then we’re probably looking at Dallas alone on the injury list, assuming Rodrigo is on track.

“If that’s the case, my team would be: Meslier; Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Struijk; Adams, Roca; Sinisterra, Aaronson, Harrison; Bamford.
Bench: Klaesson, Firpo, Forshaw, Summerville, Llorente, Rodrigo, Kristensen, Gelhardt, Klich.”

Ready for it

Ayling returned against Brentford and since then has had weeks to prepare for his return while everyone has been out on international break.

He’s even featured for the junior side so there is a feeling that he’s ready to start this game in place of Kristensen who will deservedly drop to the bench.

The front four virtually picks itself and it will be good to see Patrick Bamford after a nice training routine of weeks without playing a professional game.

He will be fresh and up for it as well and we’re expecting him to get on the scoresheet, given Villa’s shaky defence of late.

Apart from this, the rest of the team will pretty much pick itself and Junior Firpo, who Cross expects to be on the bench, will be inching to make his first-team return but Pascal Struijk’s good form is likely to keep him out of this one.

In other Leeds United news, an Elland Road-linked midfielder is now certain to leave his club in the coming weeks as a host of Premier League clubs are vying for his services.