Predicted Leeds United line-up to face Stoke City in the EFL Championship
The wait is almost over. The brand new Championship season is set to get underway and after a busy summer transfer window, the action promises to be mouthwatering, to say the least.
Leeds pulled off a shock swoop for Marcelo Bielsa in June. Bielsa, one of the game’s most innovative and respected managers, should lead Leeds’ promotion charge this season.
So far, the Whites have completed the permanent signings of Patrick Bamford and Barry Douglas, while Bielsa has managed to land the likes of Jamal Blackman, Lewis Baker and Jack Harrison on loan.
Leeds have acquired Patrick Bamford from Middlesbrough and the forward should feature against Stoke. Barry Douglas, Jack Harrison and Lewis Baker should also get a look in.
The Whites, however, have been dealt a huge blow ahead of the new season as midfielder Adam Forshaw has picked up a toe injury. He is expected to miss the Stoke game.
Probable Leeds United XI
Manager: Marcelo Bielsa
Bailey Peacock-Farrell (GK)
Jamal Blackman has been signed but faith has been placed in Peacock-Farrell over the course of pre-season. Peacock-Farrell looks highly likely to start the new season in goal.
Liam Cooper (RCB)
Effective in the air and reliable in possession, Cooper needs to lead the team by example in the upcoming season.
Kalvin Phillips (CB)
Phillips dropped into a three-man defence in the pre-season, operating as a central defender. He has showed qualities to excel in the Leeds’ rearguard.
Gaetano Berardi (LCB)
Berardi has not done badly in the pre-season but he needs to bring more composure in his passing.
Luke Ayling (RWB)
Energetic down the right flank, Ayling will be a huge asset for Leeds next season.
Barry Douglas (LWB)
Signed from Premier League new boys Wolverhampton Wanderers, Barry Douglas should provide the ammunition down the left flank.
Mateusz Klich (CDM)
Klich should step in to replace the injured Forshaw for the game against Stoke. A good passer of the ball, the Polish midfielder could be Bielsa’s secret weapon this season.
Pablo Hernandez (LW)
Hernandez was comfortably Leeds’ best and most consistent performer during an otherwise disappointing 2017/18 campaign. The Spaniard should be confident enough to continue being the club’s talismanic figure.
Samu Saiz (CAM)
Saiz dazzled last season with his creative influence but wasn’t at his best in the pre-season. He needs to get back to his best.
Jack Harrison (RW)
Signed from Manchester City on a season-long loan, Jack Harrison would add a lot of pace, dynamism and unpredictability to Leeds’ attack.
Patrick Bamford (ST)
The exciting Bamford could be Leeds’ main man in the attack this season. He is technically sound but needs to improve his end product.