Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United side head into Saturday afternoon’s Premier League fixture in rather dire straits, having picked up just one win in their last five league outings, as well as being in the midst of a considerable injury crisis.
Indeed, all of Rodrigo, Robin Koch, Patrick Bamford, Kalvin Phillips and Liam Cooper look set to miss the trip to Chelsea due to various knocks, leaving the Whites manager with a threadbare squad to face Thomas Tuchel’s third-placed Blues.
How will the Argentine line up his team at Stamford Bridge this afternoon? Here’s how we think the Leeds starting XI could look.
With the Whites’ aforementioned injury woes somewhat forcing Bielsa’s hand today, we predict that the 66-year-old will make three changes to the team which started the 2-2 draw against Brentford last time out.
In the back four, 22-year-old Pascal Struijk is thrown straight back into the side following his own recovery from injury, taking the place of Cooper alongside Diego Llorente at centre-back, while Junior Firpo and Luke Ayling start at left-back and right-back respectively.
The middle of the park also sees one change, with the stricken Phillips making way, Adam Forshaw dropping back into the England international’s usual role in front of the back four and Mateusz Klich coming into the side alongside Stuart Dallas in the central midfield two.
In attack, Daniel James and Raphinha retain their places on the left and right flanks, while Tyler Roberts is replaced by Joe Gelhardt up front, with Bielsa dubbing the 19-year-old a “human wrecking ball” who can do serious “damage” in the opposition penalty area. Those traits will almost certainly be needed if Leeds are to have any chance of securing a result at Stamford Bridge.