Leeds United enjoyed a scintillating start to their Championship campaign last weekend having beaten Stoke City 3-1 at home. The Whites will now travel to Pride Park to take on Derby County this Saturday. The Rams themselves had a winning start to life under Frank Lampard and will be looking to make it two in two.
Leeds United Team News
Leeds will be without Adam Forshaw, Conor Shaughnessy and Vurnon Anita who are sidelined due to injury. Youngster Oliver Sarkic isn’t fit enough yet and is unlikely to feature.
Bielsa, otherwise, will have a pretty decent squad to choose from and the fans might see new recruit Patrick Bamford featuring at some stage of the tie.
Predicted Leeds United Lineup
Leeds academy prodigy Bailey Peacock-Farrell was handed a promotion to the first-team action last season amid the goalkeeper conundrum and the youngster grabbed the opportunity to become their new number 1.
The 6 ft 4 in custodian was majestic in pre-season and got his reward by earning a starting role against Stoke last weekend. He is likely to retain his place between the sticks against the Rams and will be protected by Gaetano Berardi and Liam Cooper in central defence.
Luke Ayling and new recruit Barry Douglas are expected to feature as fullback options similar to their season opener. Douglas, who played a crucial role in Wolves’ Premier League promotion last season, made an instant impact on his debut while assisting Cooper for Leeds’ third of the afternoon against Stoke.
Kalvin Phillips has been handed a new role as their midfield blocker who shielded the backline with his tireless running and broke down multiple Stoke moves in the middle of the park.
Mateusz Klich, who was an outcast last season, scored the first goal in Bielsa’s competitive debut as Leeds manager and is likely to retain his place in central midfield alongside Samuel Saiz, the Spaniard, who will add the attacking flair to their game. Saiz’s passing in the attacking half was quite something last weekend and Bielsa will be hoping the attacker can manage the same again this weekend.
Veteran Pablo Hernandez was arguably the best United player last weekend as he not only scored one but also looked lively with his passing and set-piece delivery.
Ezgjan Alioski, the little-known wide attacker from Macedonia, enjoyed a productive 2017-18 season and seems to have impressed the gaffer enough to secure a first-team role on the wing.
Despite being deployed in a makeshift ‘number 9’ role, Kemar Roofe finished the previous term as Leeds top scorer with 14 goals and should be handed a start against the Rams.
The arrival of Patrick Bamford will eventually see Roofe reclaiming his usual wide attacking role, but the gaffer must not alter his winning combination this early and should bring in Bamford late in the game to slowly integrate the former Chelsea man into his setup.