Leeds

Leeds United predicted lineup vs Manchester United - Premier League

Grey Whitebloom
Marcelo Bielsa hasn't beaten Manchester United since winning his first two encounters with the club in 2012
Marcelo Bielsa hasn't beaten Manchester United since winning his first two encounters with the club in 2012 / Marc Atkins/GettyImages
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Leeds United welcome Manchester United to Elland Road for a hotly-anticipated edition of this spiky rivalry in front of a capacity crowd on Sunday afternoon.

More than a decade has elapsed since Sir Alex Ferguson's reigning league champions dismantled second-tier Leeds in a midweek League Cup third round tie for Manchester United's most recent visit to an Elland Road with spectators.

October 2003 was the last time more than 40,000 people crammed into the famous setting for a league match against the Red Devils.

Here's the XI Marcelo Bielsa may deploy to avoid a repeat of that 1-0 defeat the best part of two decades ago.


Leeds United predicted lineup vs Manchester United - Premier League

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Illan Meslier (GK) - The subject of some admiring glances from Barcelona hasn't even completed two seasons of top-flight football yet.

Luke Ayling (RB) - The only Premier League goal of Ayling's career was a crisply hit equaliser in the reverse fixture against Manchester United. Unfortunately, the afternoon was rather spoiled by the final score: 5-1.

Diego Llorente (CB) - No player in the Leeds squad carries the ball further up the pitch than the silk-lined Spaniard (per FBref).

Pascal Struijk (CB) - Leeds have not lost their furious edge off the ball this term, best exemplified by Struijk's tireless scurries across the turf to close down the opposition in possession.

Leo Hjelde (LB) - A first-choice stop-gap when injury strikes mid-match of late, the impressive 18-year-old could be in line for his first league start given the potential absence of Stuart Dallas pre-game.

2. Midfielders

Adam Forshaw (DM) - The injury-plagued midfielder has hit double digits for league starts for the first time since 2018/19 this term, a tally he is expected to add to.

Mateusz Klich (CM) - Bielsa was the first to hold his hands up when apportioning blame for last weekend's defeat against Everton, admitting: “The position of Klich was an error on my part." A return to a back-four should suit the midfielder's attacking tendencies.

Rodrigo (CM) - The converted striker had never hit the post more than once in the same month over the previous eight years of his top-flight career, yet was twice denied by the Goodison Park crossbar in the first half last Saturday.

3. Forwards

Raphinha (RW) - As shocking as it was to witness a Bielsa side fail to fire off a single shot on target all afternoon, the sight of a fit Raphinha sat on the bench for the second half of Leeds' last outing was even more surprising.

Tyler Roberts (ST) - As the man that brought Premier League football back to Leeds for the first time in 16 years, Bielsa doesn't have many questions to answer from his adoring fanbase. Although, his persistent favouring of Roberts over Joe Gelhardt has raised some eyebrows.

Dan James (LW) - The former Manchester United forward actually started the reverse fixture in August draped in red for his final Old Trafford appearance.


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