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Predicted Leeds XI, latest team and injury news vs Aston Villa

After tasting defeat in his first game in charge of Leeds United, Jesse Marsch will no doubt be hoping to kick-start life at Elland Road with a victory against Aston Villa on Thursday night.

The clash against Steven Gerrard’s men in the Premier League represents the American’s first game in front of the home fans, who will surely still be reeling from the heart-breaking exit of predecessor Marcelo Bielsa couple of weeks ago.

Marsch has been given a huge boost heading into tonight’s game though, with a couple of players back from injury and pushing for recalls.

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And, with that in mind, below is a look at how Leeds might line up when Aston Villa come to town.

While the Whites looked much better defensively against Brendan Rodgers’ side last time out – they conceded just seven shots on goal all game – Marsch could look to bolster the centre of defence with the returning Diego Llorente.

Dubbed as a “leader” by former Leeds man Noel Whelan, the £70k-a-week earning Spaniard could make an immediate return to the starting line-up, and that could see the 22-year-old Pascal Struijk dropped to the bench – the rest of the back-five should remain unchanged.

In midfield, Marsch may opt to make his other big call, axing Robin Koch and giving Adam Forshaw the keys in midfield.

The Whites ace has been dubbed as “class” by Whelan, while Bielsa has previously admitted just how influential he can be.

He said: “Forshaw is a player who, when he has played, he is always between the better players of the team.

“He has a feature that is very difficult to get. He defends similar to Kalvin, he attacks similar to Klich. What he does close to Phillips doesn’t impede, it is not a problem for him when he goes close to Klich to attack. You are not going to find a lot of players with this kind of characteristic.”

The forward line should stay as is, with Raphinha and Jack Harrison out wide, and Rodrigo and Dan James tasked with leading the line and providing that goal-scoring threat.

Predicted XI: Meslier; Dallas, Ayling, Llorente, Firpo; Klich, Forshaw; Raphinha, Harrison; Rodrigo, James.

AND in other news, Leeds United battling for “swashbuckling” £10m machine, Raphinha would love him

Article title: Predicted Leeds XI, latest team and injury news vs Aston Villa

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