Leeds United will be out for revenge when they take on Manchester United in the opening game of their 2021/22 Premier League campaign on Saturday.
When the pair met at Old Trafford last season the Red Devils put them to the sword, breezing to a deserved 6-2 victory. The Whites were extremely open that day and Marcelo Bielsa will be seeking a better balance this time around.
Here is the starting XI that El Loco is most likely to go with for this Premier League curtain raiser…
Illan Meslier (GK) – Tying Meslier down on a long-term contract is probably the best piece of business Leeds have done this summer. Despite being just 21, he is the undisputed number one at Elland Road.
Luke Ayling (RB) – Ayling barely missed a second of Leeds’ first season back in the Premier League. Always reliable if somewhat unsensational, he should be ever-present this season too.
Robin Koch (CB) – Koch was named in Germany’s Euro 2020 squad but did not feature so will be raring to go for the season ahead. Injuries stunted his progress last term but we should get to see his full potential this time around.
Liam Cooper (CB) – Pascal Struijk has played a lot of minutes in pre-season but club captain Cooper should get the nod for now. His place in the first team is not certain, though, with Diego Llorente and Struijk poised to push him hard.
Junior Firpo (LB) – Leeds fans are excited to see what Junior Firpo can bring both defensively and going forward this season. The flying full-back is an upgrade on the much-loved Ezgjan Alioski, who was released in the summer.
Kalvin Phillips (DM) – He may only just be back in training following his Euro 2020 exploits but as Phillips is so vital to how Leeds play, he should be fast-tracked back to the first team.
Raphinha (RM) – The Brazilian was a revelation last season, attracting interest from Liverpool and several European clubs. Leeds have managed to keep him around and he will be hoping to push on further this term.
Stuart Dallas (CM) – Like Ayling, Dallas was one of Bielsa’s most trusted lieutenants last season. Although he was also used at left-back, Firpo’s arrival means he should spend more time in midfield this time around.
Mateusz Klich (CM) – With Jamie Shackleton lacking experience and Adam Forshaw still returning to full fitness, the centre-midfield position is Kilch’s to lose.
Jack Harrison (LM) – After what seems like an eternity on loan, Harrison finally signed for Leeds permanently this summer. It is an inspired signing with the midfielder registering eight goals and eight assists last season.
Patrick Bamford (ST) – Bamford’s incredible scoring record was one of the shocks of the 2020/21 Premier League season. It will be tough to repeat the trick, but for now he is untouchable up front.