Following last week’s routine win over Bristol City, Leeds host Nottingham Forest in their first home fixture of the season. It’s easy to forget that in amongst all the transfer talk, that there’s actual football to be played…
However, one thing that will never change is Bielsa and it’s largely expected he’ll pick the same/a similar line-up to the one we saw gather a 3-1 victory at Ashton Gate. Here’s how it could look:
Kiko Casilla: Kiko remains Leeds’ only senior keeper with murmurings of a French youngster coming in but it’s clear Kiko is #1.
Stuart Dallas: Expected to start at right back again in the place of the injured Luke Ayling, who faces another week or two on the sidelines.
Ben White: White made a phenomenal debut for Leeds and will certainly keep his place in the line-up.
Liam Cooper: Building a strong and efficient relationship between two consistent centre-backs will be key to Leeds’ success this season. Bielsa will not look to play around with defensive line-ups.
Barry Douglas: Douglas regularly looked to get into advanced positions against Bristol, who often hunted the no-mans land space behind the left side of our defence, in turn trying to invite Kiko out to collect the ball. Leeds must be wary of teams trying to take advantage of this.
Kalvin Phillips: Barring any deadline day madness, Kalvin will stay at Elland Road for the forthcoming season, with contract talks set to resume soon. His importance to the side underlined by his performance on Sunday.
Adam Forshaw: Forshaw was given an unexpected start against Bristol City as Bielsa pushed Klich higher up the pitch rather than starting Pablo in the middle and Costa out wide, as many (including this outlet) expected. Things are unlikely to change and Forshaw’s intricate passing and work in half-spaces contributed greatly to Leeds’ success, giving Bielsa no reason to rotate.
Mateusz Klich: Expected to operate in the central midfield role once more, naturally.
Pablo Hernandez: Opened Leeds’ goalscoring account for the season and despite increasing in age, Pablo shows no signs of slowing down.
Jack Harrison: Harrison made an encouraging start to the season and even poached a deflection into the back of the net. Expectation is high of Harrison to show a good deal more consistency this season.
Patrick Bamford: With Roofe out the picture and a new striker not yet confirmed, Patrick Bamford is Leeds’ premier striker as things stand. His goal against Bristol will have been a great confidence boost and hopefully give him a platform to notch a few more against Forest.