Leeds United predicted the line-up against West Ham


Leeds United travel to the capital to face West Ham at London Stadium for the second time in seven days on Sunday afternoon.

Marcelo Bielsa listed his complete starting XI when he was easily called up two days before Leeds’ meeting with West Ham in December 2020. Despite David Moye’s suggestion that the Argentine coach might be “bluffing”, Bielsa delivered his unconventional news briefing for the team.

Unfortunately (for this piece in particular) the “backlash” that Bielsa’s honesty caused the Leeds coach to refrain from repeating afterwards ensured.

So here’s the best guess of the lineup he can pick on Sunday.

Meslier is an obvious starter / Marc Atkins / GettyImages

Illan Meslier (GK) – Only the goalkeepers of the division’s leading trio of teams are expected to play the ball around the back more often than Leeds’ regularly tested 21-year-old.

Luke Ayling (RB) – The former Arsenal academy player has been offered just one Premier League victory in a cracked campaign.

Robin Koch (CB) – The German national team player with injury has not started a senior club match that ends in Leeds zero since November 2020.

Leo Fuhr Hjelde (CB) – The 18-year-old made his first team debut against West Ham last weekend but can quickly be back in action after the bizarre decision to let the marginally older Cody Drameh join Cardiff on loan in the middle of a staff crisis.

Junior Firpo (LB) – Despite his uncertain condition, the amount of injuries that spread throughout the squad could force Firpo into the squad.

Mateusz Klich has played more matches for Marcelo Bielsa (150) than any other player in any other club in the Argentine’s great career / Alex Livesey / GettyImages

Adam Forshaw (DM) – His future resistance manager David Moyes gave Forshaw just 98 minutes of first-team football during their time together at Everton, before letting him join Brentford for free in 2012.

Mateusz Klich (CM) – The Polish midfielder started 108 of Bielsa’s first 109 league matches but has missed almost half of the available starting games in the following year (18 of 39).

Stuart Dallas (CM) – When Bielsa listed the wide range of Dallas’ versatile qualities, Bielsa compared the Northern Irish national team player to Javier Zanetti, a player so legendary Inter removed his number four jersey.

Where Leeds would be without Raphinha can not think of / George Wood / GettyImages

Raphinha (RW) – Leeds’ undisputed game changers have opened goals in six separate matches this season – the most of any Premier League player.

Dan James (ST) – With the impressive youngster Joe Gelhardt joining the ranks of Leeds strikers (and those in all other positions) on the injury side, James can be shunted through the middle.

Jack Harrison (LW) – Harrison is one of only five players to score as many as eight goals and assists without a penalty in the Premier League last season.

You can read 90mins preview of West Ham vs Leeds here. You can read West Ham’s predicted lineup here.

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