Six senior players start for Leeds in U23s clash v Norwich, one started on Friday - confirmed
Leeds United have confirmed that six senior players will start for the Under-23s in their Premier League 2 clash against Norwich at Thorp Arch on Sunday.
Kiko Casilla is in goals with Pascal Struijk possibly in the defence or playing as a holding midfielder. Pablo Hernandez, Raphinha and Ian Poveda all start in the midfield with it looking as though Tyler Roberts is likely to start up front for the Whites’ Under-23s.
Leeds confirmed the news via their official Twitter account ahead of kick-off on Sunday.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) October 25, 2020
While some of that team news isn’t a surprise, it certainly is a shock that Struijk is among the starters for Leeds’ Under-23s.
Struijk started in the defensive midfield role as Leeds’ first-team hammered Aston Villa 3-0 on Friday night as he stood in for the injured Kalvin Phillips.
The 21-year-old was substituted off after 21 minutes as Marcelo Bielsa changed his formation but it does seem a bit risky to play the former Ajax youngster when Phillips is still injured and Adam Forshaw remains out.
Bielsa uses the Under-23s matches a lot to get his players up to speed both in terms of their fitness and their fluidity with his tactical system.
It makes sense, in that regard, for the likes of Hernandez and Raphinha to play as the Spaniard has been injured and the Brazilian is a new arrival at Elland Road.
Both of them need the game-time whereas with Struijk, Bielsa might just be trying to get a bit more out of him ahead of the Whites’ Premier League clash against Leicester next Monday.
In other Leeds United news, the Whites are eyeing up a move for this Croatia international.