Leeds United take on rock-bottom La Liga side Elche on Thursday evening at the Manuel Martinez Valero Stadium in the first of three friendlies before our clash against Manchester City on December 28 – and here is our predicted XI.
Leeds have been on a training camp in Valencia since touching down over the weekend. Since then, there has been a number of slight concerns regarding injury – and even, two operations. Patrick Bamford and Diego Llorente, namely.
Bamford did not travel and instead, went to Munich to undergo groin surgery. Llorente suffered a hand injury and travelled to Murcia to fix the issue. He was in the gym on Tuesday, along with Luis Sinisterra, who is also recovering.
So, Bamford, Sinisterra and Llorente are likely to miss out. Junior Firpo is expected to fly to Spain this week, but a groin strain prevented travelling with his teammates. Illan Meslier and Kris Klaesson remain home, suffering viral infections.
A challenge from Marc Roca saw Crysencio Summerville limp out of training on Monday. But on Tuesday, he was back in full training. Stuart Dallas is continuing to recover while 26-year-old Robin Koch limped out of training on Tuesday.
Leeds take on Elche on Thursday: Our predicted XI
Of course, Brenden Aaronson, Tyler Adams and Rasmus Kristensen are enjoying a bit of time off after playing at the World Cup in Qatar. So, who starts against Elche? Well, Joel Robles is likely to start between the sticks on Thursday.
Cody Drameh has impressed, earning praise from Jesse Marsch for an assist. He could start, with Koch potentially rested. Llorente, too. So, it might be Luke Ayling and Liam Cooper at centre-back. Pascal Struijk to continue on the left.
Marc Roca will surely start, while Adam Forshaw is back and impressing – certainly, from free-kicks. Sam Greenwood in the 10 with Aaronson missing, and then Jack Harrison and Willy Gnonto out wide. Summerville perhaps, on the bench.
Up top, a straight shoot out between Rodrigo and Joe Gelhardt – but to start, surely Spain international Rodrigo will get the nod. Six changes from the loss to Spurs – Meslier, Kristensen, Koch, Adams, Aaronson and Summerville out.