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Raphinha likely to return to Leeds starting XI vs Liverpool

Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa could make two changes to his starting XI this evening, according to Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Graham Smyth

What’s the latest?

The Whites make the trip to Anfield to face second-placed Liverpool in the Premier League, where they will be looking to bounce back from Sunday’s disappointment as they were beaten in a six-goal thriller by Manchester United.

Bielsa named an interesting lineup that saw Raphinha surprisingly dropped but the ever-reliable journalist is backing the Brazil international to return to the side, along with Junior Firpo.

“The team we expect,” he tweeted alongside an accompanying article, where he suggested that both Raphinha and Firpo will replace the injured Robin Koch and Jack Harrison.

Should Raphinha be recalled to Leeds' starting XI tonight?

YES!

YES!

NO!

NO!

Is it the right call?

Without the 25-year-old dynamo in the attack, the Yorkshiremen were devoid of any ideas whatsoever. They went into the break two goals down and had only tested David de Gea’s goal with one shot in target all half.

In the second half, it was a different story as Bielsa’s side nearly mounted an impressive comeback, bringing the game back to 2-2 before Ralf Rangnick’s substitutes made a difference to win the game 4-2.

Raphinha entered the fray at half-time and Leeds then managed more shots (ten) and shots on target (five) than their visitors during the final 45 minutes.

Scoring a squad-best 7.2 rating with SofaScore, the £36m-rated attacker scored one of those two goals, won three ground duels and delivered one key pass from 11 attempts.

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Marcelo Bielsa looks out onto pitch

Which Argentinian side has Marcelo Bielsa played for and managed?

The £17m signing from Stade Rennes has been a standout in Leeds’ difficult campaign, leading the way across all attacking metrics. No player has scored more goals (nine) or provided more assists (two). He also tops the charts for chances created (two), dribbles (2.2) shots (2.8) per game, via WhoScored.

He is hugely important to their chances of success, so the Elland Road faithful will surely be buzzing to hear Smyth’s claims that he is in line for a recall tonight.

If anyone is going to cause the Reds damage, then it’ll be Raphinha, on the evidence above.

AND in other news, £20.2m wasted: Leeds’ “forgotten man” has been robbing Radz blind for over 113 weeks

Article title: Raphinha likely to return to Leeds starting XI vs Liverpool

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