Leeds desperately need a win to kickstart their Premier League season, and they have a great opportunity this Saturday against new boys Watford.
The Whites have just three draws to their name after six games, and can’t stop conceding goals. 14 have been haemorrhaged already, largely down to a swathe of injuries decimating Marcelo Bielsa’s backline.
Watford are the visitors to Elland Road on Saturday, and although they’re very beatable on paper, the Hornets have enjoyed a solid return to the top flight.
Here’s the XI Bielsa may pick, hoping to pick up a valuable three points.
Illan Meslier (GK) – Was superb against West Ham and really didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.
Jamie Shackleton (RB) – There’s every chance that Charlie Cresswell keeps his place and Leeds move back to three central defenders. But if not, expect Shackleton to cover Luke Ayling’s absence.
Pascal Struijk (CB) – Back from suspension and probably straight back into the side given his experience.
Liam Cooper (CB) – Talked Cresswell through a difficult afternoon against Michail Antonio last Saturday, only to see the Hammers nick a last minute winner. Devastating.
Junior Firpo (LB) – Looks good going forward but there’s serious questions to ask about his defensive positioning.
Kalvin Phillips (DM) – Runs all day long and covers every blade of grass. Luckily, he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Mateusz Klich (CM) – Can run games when he’s in the mood. Sadly, Leeds haven’t seen that version of Klich this season.
Stuart Dallas (CM) – Continues to be steady and reliable, but a little more is required to drag the Whites out of their current rut.
Raphinha (RW) – One of the most exciting wingers in the Premier League on his day, Raphinha has the ability to tear Watford to shreds. Is in good form.
Rodrigo (ST) – Did well for Leeds’ goal against West Ham last week, capitalising on some slack defending. Now needs to score some of his own to make up for Bamford’s absence.
Daniel James (LW) – It wasn’t a great 45 minutes for James against West Ham, with Jack Harrison coming on at the break to replace him. He didn’t fare much better though so the Welshman may start again.