Javi Gracia will be forced into a couple of changes at the very least on Saturday when Leeds United take on Arsenal at The Emirates as the Premier League returns following the international break – and here is our predicted Leeds XI.
The Leeds gaffer will be looking to go three games unbeaten on Saturday, but has it all to do as Leeds go to top of the table Arsenal. Probably the hardest fixture in the entire Premier League calendar, right at this moment in time.
But Leeds gave Arsenal a right good go at Elland Road, unfortunate to lose 1-0. Patrick Bamford missed a spot kick. So, there will be belief from the Leeds dressing room – especially after last time out, a 4-2 win away at Wolves.
However, the international break has rocked Leeds in terms of injuries. Willy Gnonto and Max Wober return with small issues after representing Italy and Austria. Midfielder Tyler Adams might not play again for Leeds this season.
So, Gracia will have to make at least two changes to the side that beat Wolves. Out go Wober and Gnonto. Captain Liam Cooper is certain to come in, having returned to fitness and featured for Scotland in a 2-0 win over Spain.
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Predicted Leeds XI to take on Arsenal on Saturday; Three changes
Replacing Gnonto is a trickier decision. The obvious move is to put Jack Harrison out on the left and bring either Crysencio Summerville or Luis Sinisterra in, and use Brenden Aaronson in the middle of the attacking midfielders
But Harrison is on fire from the no.10 position. Sinisterra can play on the left. It might be that he starts Aaronson on the right, Harrison in the middle and Sinisterra on the left. But we think, Harrison will revert to type on the left flank.
Harrison’s work rate will be key in helping Leeds double on Bukayo Saka. Aaronson then, in the middle of the park, with Summerville more likely than £70k-a-week Sinisterra on the right. Then, up top. Rodrigo, or Patrick Bamford?
Bamford is fit but he is not firing, not on all cylinders anyway. Rodrigo came off the bench last week to score his 13th goal of the season. If Rodrigo is even only 80% fit, he has to start. Rodrigo, Summerville and Cooper come in, then.