Leeds Predicted XI vs Man United as Marcelo Bielsa delivers key team news

Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa during pre-season

The new Premier League season is upon us, and Leeds United have been handed a tough assignment for their opening game of the campaign.

Marcelo Bielsa’s men will be travelling to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United on Saturday lunchtime, hoping to banish the memories of the 6-2 defeat that they suffered in this fixture last term.

Still, despite that result, Leeds went on to have an impressive first season back in the Premier League as they finished in the top half, so there is reason for their supporters to be optimistic ahead of Saturday’s game. Here’s how the team is shaping up heading into their match against the Red Devils.

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What’s the latest team news at Leeds?

Bielsa has an almost fully-fit squad to pick from this weekend, having confirmed that new signing Junior Firpo and Jamie Shackleton will be available

He has also outlined that Kalvin Phillips is in contention for a starting berth, despite having had a far from ideal pre-season after playing for England at Euro 2020.

There is less positive news on the fitness of Diego Llorente, though, who has been ruled out with a knee injury, while Bielsa has also stated that Adam Forshaw will need to be carefully monitored as he continues his comeback from two years on the sidelines.

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Which Leeds stars will definitely start versus Man United?

Goalkeeper Illan Meslier has just signed a contract extension at Elland Road, and looks set to continue as the side’s No. 1 this term.

Meanwhile, reliable duo Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas played every game for Leeds in 2020/21, and it seems likely that Bielsa will be relying on them again in Manchester.

Patrick Bamford, Raphinha and Jack Harrison scored a combined total of 31 goals in the Premier League last season, and the trio look set to lead the line once more to kick-off Leeds’ campaign.

What decisions does Marcelo Bielsa need to make?

Bielsa’s main decision appears to centre around whether he feels Phillips is ready to start or not.

Leeds only won one of the nine league games that Phillips missed last year, highlighting how important the midfielder is to the team. However, the Argentine coach may be hesitant to give him a full game due to his lack of preparation time ahead of this match.

He must also weigh up the option of throwing Firpo straight in for his Premier League debut. Having never played in England before, it could be viewed as a risk to start Firpo in front of a packed house at Old Trafford.

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Predicted Leeds XI vs Man United

Meslier; Ayling, Cooper, Koch, Firpo; Phillips, Dallas, Klich; Raphinha, Harrison, Bamford

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