Today sees Leeds United kick-start their first campaign in the Premier League for 16 years. It is an eagerly awaited game and couldn’t be a tougher challenge against a Liverpool side who, over the past two seasons, has proved to be the top outfit in English football.
Last season they ran away with the Premier League title, swatting aside opponents like flies. It was only a late-season blip instigated by a 3-0, first-of-the-season defeat against Watford which saw them fail to reach 100 points.
Likewise, Leeds United was a side who dominated the Championship at times, swatting aside their opponents with a degree of aplomb and ruthlessness. They, like Liverpool, suffered their blips but eventually won the title by a margin of 10 points over their nearest challengers, West Bromwich Albion.
Today’s game at Anfield, therefore, represents a Champions-vs-champions match-up and one that is eagerly awaited by fans of both clubs as well as many neutral observers.
Possible Leeds United line-up
Comments on the possible line-up
Somehow, you’d expect that paying a combined £40m for Rodrigo Moreno and Robin Koch would mean that the Whites aren’t going to leave them floundering on the bench against a Liverpool side who have synergy after playing together over the course of a number of seasons. Yet, this is Marcelo BIelsa’s Leeds United, so anything might happen there.
The ‘Bamford issue’, is he going to lead the line as the sole striker that Bielsa likes to employ? It could be the case that he doesn’t. Bielsa could, because of his knowledge of Bamford’s hold-up play and strengths in that direction, drop him back and swap his position with Rodrigo. In doing so, you’d not be looking at Paddy playing as a traditional attacking midfield 10 but more a second/shadow striker.
Between the sticks; a decision here. Will Bielsa place his trust in youngster Meslier in the cauldron that is Anfield against the Premier League champions or will he go for a more assured look at Kiko Casilla. That really is a head-vs-heart question and typed here won’t be the first time many Whites fans have thought about it.
Pablo, where is he? Don’t panic, he’s on the bench. Against such a silky-smooth and well-practised unit as the Reds, you cannot see El Mago starting. However, you could see him coming on later in the game, possibly replacing Bamford as Liverpool sinews start to tire,