Bielsa makes decision on Cooper, £36m-rated star is axed: Predicted Leeds XI vs LCFC – opinion

Leeds United have had to wait all weekend to play but tonight they are back in action as they host Leicester City for the first time in 16 years as they go to head-to-head in the Premier League.

The Championship winners have made an encouraging start to life in the big time having lost just once in their last five outings – a win here at Elland Road could see them rise into the top five.

Marcelo Bielsa isn’t usually one to make many changes to his side, but there are plenty of selection headaches going into this tie.

Here’s the lineup we’re predicting this evening…

Bielsa was able to welcome back his skipper Liam Cooper to the fold this week, so he’s in line to come straight back into the starting XI.

Luke Ayling was selected to play alongside Robin Koch during their 3-0 drubbing of Aston Villa last week with Diego Llorente and Gaetano Berardi out through injury, but Cooper’s return sees him move back to the right flank.

It also allows Stuart Dallas to take stock on the left, meaning Gjanni Alioski is axed.

The Whites boss has a tough conundrum in what would usually be Kalvin Phillips’ role.

He hauled Pascal Struijk off after just 20 minutes at Villa Park as the youngster was a liability waiting to happen – his replacement Jamie Shackleton will surely get the nod this evening after they went onto win the match.

The 21-year-old is likely to partner Mateusz Klich in the middle with Pablo Hernandez coming in for €40m-rated (£36m) summer signing Rodrigo.

Jack Harrison and Helder Costa are seemingly untouchable on the wings despite the arrival of Raphinha late in the window.

Whilst Patrick Bamford will almost certainly lead the line once again.

AND in other news, Leeds should be kicking themselves for missing out on massive Klich upgrade…

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