Marcelo Bielsa has told Friday’s press conference – ahead of Monday night’s clash against Leicester City at Elland Road – that he is yet to pick his starting XI and any of 22 players could start. But where are the selection dilemmas?
As per Leeds Live when posed with a question about new signing Raphinha, Bielsa responded by stating he is yet to pick his side and that any of his squad could feature against Brendan Rodgers’ side. But here are three areas which could be tricky:
£17m man or Helder Costa?
Raphinha has been impressive in his two cameo roles against Manchester City and Aston Villa – with his 40-yard pass to Jack Harrison being replayed over and over again on Twitter against Villa. He scored for the Under-23’s on Sunday.
Should the Brazilian be handed his first start on Monday? Certainly, Helder Costa started the season well but has managed just one assist in his last four league games. Perhaps the £17million signing (UOL) could replace Costa.
Cooper return, but who goes out?
Gjanni Alioski was excellent against Aston Villa last time out, keeping Trezeguet quiet throughout the match. He came in, so Stuart Dallas could move to right-back and Luke Ayling into the middle to cover the loss of Liam Cooper.
Ayling will start, as will Robin Koch and Dallas. But with Cooper coming back in, will he replace either Pascal Struijk or Alioski? Koch could cover Kalvin Phillips and Ayling could partner Cooper at centre-back.
Or, Cooper comes back in for Alioski. Dallas reverts to left-back and Ayling to right-back – meaning Struijk keep his place. A proper headache for Bielsa, but perhaps one that means Struijk keeps his place, just ahead of Alioski.
Shackleton unlucky again?
Jamie Shackleton came on against Aston Villa alongside Rodrigo in central midfield and starred. His driving runs, effervescent energy and quality on the ball was there for all to see – even being involved in the third goal.
But his inclusion means Leeds lose arguably one of their best players in his best position. Mateusz Klich is better going forward, rather than sitting in the Phillips role. Shackleton deserves to start, but he might find himself unlucky.