Javi Gracia is likely to be announced as the new Leeds United manager on Tuesday, with Gracia set to sign a deal until the summer – and here is how Leeds could line-up against Southampton, using his double-pivot 4-4-2 Watford system.

The 52-year-old is set for a second spell in the Premier League after spending 18 months at Watford. He was boss for 66 games at Vicarage Road, keeping Watford in the Premier League in 2018-19 – and taking them to the FA Cup final.

In those 66 matches, Gracia used a 4-4-2 system 44 times. A system that saw him play with a narrow midfield, but with full-backs getting forward. Two holding midfielders, and a no.9 accompanied by a fleet-footed playmaker up top.

So, with Gracia expected to be in the dugout for Saturday’s crucial home clash against Southampton – how could Leeds line-up, using Gracia’s tried and tested 4-4-2 system? Well, here, LeedsUnited.News takes a look at a potential XI.

How Leeds could line-up against Southampton using Gracia system

Now, the first talking point is Max Wober. Coming off with a shoulder injury against Everton, it remains up in the air as to whether he will be fit to play against the Saints. If he is injured, then it is likely captain Liam Cooper starts in defence.

Gracia liked his full-backs to provide the width. That would see Firpo – who is better going forward then Pascal Struijk – retain his place in the side. Luke Ayling is arguably our most in-form player. The system suits our midfield perfectly.

Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams are the perfect options for a double pivot; hard-working, nasty, but technically gifted, too. The four-man midfield works with the wingers playing centrally to create space for overlapping full-backs.

So, Jack Harrison – who has played centrally of late – and Crysencio Summerville, who can play as a 10, will surely get the nod. The biggest change is likely to be up top. While at Watford, Gerard Deulofeu often partnered Troy Deeney.

That saw Gracia use a no.9, with a speedy, tricky, creative player in Deulofeu. £4m Gnonto is the best candidate for that role, alongside Patrick Bamford. So, this could be how Gracia lines up against Southampton, using his Watford system.

Everton FC v Leeds United - Premier League
Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

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