Leeds

Leeds United predicted lineup vs Watford - Premier League

Grey Whitebloom
Jesse Marsch has overseen 371 fewer Premier League matches than his upcoming opposite number Roy Hodgson
Jesse Marsch has overseen 371 fewer Premier League matches than his upcoming opposite number Roy Hodgson / James Baylis - AMA/GettyImages
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Leeds United travel south to face Watford in a meeting between two of the Premier League's bottom five on Saturday afternoon.

In the admittedly brief window of five games Jesse Marsch has overseen since his (fitting) arrival in March, Leeds have averaged the third-highest non-penalty expected goals figure of any Premier League side (per UnderStat).

Some wayward finishing (they've hit the woodwork four times in these five matches) hasn't rewarded this threat with as many goals as expected, but it has hauled Leeds seven points further from the drop.

Here's the XI Marsch may select in a bid to maintain their Champions League-quality chance creation.


1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Liam Cooper
Liam Cooper made his first start since the opening week of December against Southampton last Saturday / Stu Forster/GettyImages

Illan Meslier (GK) - Since the start of last season, Meslier has made 247 saves, more than 30 more than the next busiest goalkeeper.

Luke Ayling (RB) - The former Arsenal youth-team player hasn't been to Vicarage Road since playing in a 3-0 win for Yeovil Town in November 2013 (when his current teammate Archie Gray was just seven).

Diego Llorente (CB) - It was thanks to Llorente's razor-sharp reactions in the Watford penalty area that Leeds prevailed against the Hornets in October, earning the club's first Premier League victory of the season.

Liam Cooper (CB) - The team's returning skipper has now played under ten different managers during his eight years in Yorkshire.

Stuart Dallas (LB) - Leeds' bionic, anatomic marvel is one of only five outfield players across the division to have started every league game for their club this season.

2. Midfielders

Rodrigo - Spanish Soccer Striker - Born 1991
Rodrigo has scored two goals in his last three appearances / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Mateusz Klich (CM) - The last Premier League clean sheet Klich was vaguely involved in earning came against Watford back in October.

Kalvin Phillips (CM) - The injury-free (touch wood) local hero could make his first Premier League start in four months this Saturday.

Rodrigo (AM) - Leeds' in-form Spain international has the chance to score in consecutive away games for the first time since his days as a Valencia player in May 2019.

3. Forwards

Raphinha
Raphinha has taken more shots (72) and created more chances (59) than any other Leeds player in the Premier League this season / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Raphinha (RW) - The fulcrum of Leeds' attacking impetus has scored just one Premier League goal in his last 12 appearances in the competition.

Dan James (ST) - With Patrick Bamford and Tyler Roberts sidelined for the foreseeable future, the not-so-temporary solution of James through the middle has become increasingly permanent.

Jack Harrison (LW) - "Solid, clear, intelligent, intensive." Those were the four adjectives Marsch foisted upon his fellow MLS graduate after another goal last weekend.


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