Jesse Marsch’s Leeds United side face Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in Saturday’s evening kick-off, with both teams in need of a result for their respective battles at the bottom and top of the Premier League table.
Indeed, with Leeds sitting just five points above the relegation zone, the 48-year-old will be hoping to secure a surprise victory against City which would all but seal the Whites’ place in the top flight for next season.
However, with the American revealing in his pre-match press conference that Patrick Bamford and Tyler Roberts will once again be unavailable for selection, and confirming that both Adam Forshaw and Crysencio Summerville will be out for the remainder of the season with knocks, he has some tough calls to make concerning his starting XI against Guardiola’s side.
Will the former RB Leipzig manager make any changes to the team which lined up for the 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace last Monday ? Here’s how we at Football FanCast think the Leeds starting XI could look against Man City…
With Bamford remaining sidelined, and Mateusz Klich having struggled in the middle of the park against Palace last time out, we predict that Marsch will make two changes to his starting XI at Elland Road today.
The back five remains intact, with Illan Meslier starting between the sticks, while Stuart Dallas, Liam Cooper, Diego Llorente and Luke Ayling make up the defensive quartet.
In the middle, Kalvin Phillips once again starts, while the £34k-per-week Klich – who Clinton Morrison dubbed as being “non-existent” in some games – makes way after a poor showing against the Eagles, with the more defensively-minded Robin Koch coming in to start, having replaced the Poland midfielder as a half-time substitute on Monday.
The forward-thinking midfield three of Jack Harrison, Rodrigo and Raphinha remains unchanged, while after a run of 11 Premier League games without a goal, Daniel James is dropped. Joe Gelhardt – who was dubbed a “promising” talent by Daniel Mann – instead ought to be given the chance to lead the line against City this evening.