Marcelo Biela’s Leeds United go in search of their second Premier League win of the season as they face Norwich at Carrow Road today.
The Whites are up against a Norwich side who sit bottom of the table and lost 7-0 to Chelsea in their last league match. Meanwhile, Leeds lost 2-0 to Arsenal in the Carabao Cup in their last game, exiting in the last 16 of the competition.
How many changes will Bielsa make to his side for today? Here is our predicted XI for the match…
We are predicting that he will make five alterations to the team from midweek, with Junior Firpo, Liam Cooper, Mateusz Klich, Raphinha and Joe Gelhardt all coming in.
Starting at centre-back, Cooper could return in place of Pascal Struijk. The Leeds captain has started every league match this season and his place on the bench against the Gunners yielded a much-needed rest for the Scotland international.
Bielsa has ruled Luke Ayling, Robin Koch and Patrick Bamford out of contention, whilst admitting that Firpo, Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips are set to be available for selection. He told The Athletic: “There is no precise return date for the injuries of Ayling, Bamford and Koch.
“(Junior) Firpo and Raphinha are likely to be available. (Jamie) Shackleton is likely to be available. (Kalvin Phillips) is fine to return.”
We published an article explaining why Firpo should start at left-back, with Stuart Dallas having struggled against Arsenal. The 30-year-old lost 70% of his duels in the match and had a 0% success rate from his attempted dribbles and crosses throughout the game.
Out wide, Raphinha could replace summer signing Dan James. We have outlined why the 23-year-old flop should be axed from the team, and Bielsa could now start the Brazilian ahead of him against Norwich, with Jack Harrison switching over to the left. Raphinha has three goals in eight Premier League matches this season and could add to his tally today against a struggling Canaries side.
Finally, we are predicting that Klich and Gelhardt will play ahead of Tyler Roberts and Adam Forshaw in midfield. The latter duo failed to impress in midweek and were replaced by the former pair before the 60th minute, perhaps indicating that Bielsa is looking at them to start against Norwich. It could be a huge chance for young Gelhardt to prove his worth if he is handed a place in the starting XI.