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The Leeds lineup that should start against West Ham

todayMarch 7, 2021 3

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Leeds United will continue their push for a spot in the top half of the Premier League when they meet high-flying West Ham United on Monday.

A frustrating 1-0 loss to Aston Villa last time out left Marcelo Bielsa’s side down in 11th in the standings, but they will hope to avoid a fourth consecutive league loss when they make the long trip down to London.

Here’s how Bielsa should set his side up.

Illan Meslier
Meslier has impressed this season | Pool/Getty Images

Illan Meslier (GK) – Meslier has managed two clean sheets in his last six Premier League outings and will be keen to add a third against West Ham.

Luke Ayling (RB) – One of the first names on the team sheet, Ayling has started every match this season and has missed just 20 minutes of action in total.

Liam Cooper (CB) – Club captain Cooper is enjoying his longest run in the team this season, having recovered from a stomach problem which disrupted his Christmas.

Diego Llorente (CB) – Like Cooper, Llorente is also on his best run of fitness, but that’s not saying much. If he plays against West Ham, it will be just his fifth appearance of the season.

Ezgjan Alioski (LB) – Alioski should return to the team for his first start in three weeks, with Bielsa needing Stuart Dallas further forward.

Raphinha has been linked with a move away | Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Pascal Struijk (DM) – Until Kalvin Phillips returns, Struijk is the best option at the base of the midfield, even if his best performances this season have come as a centre back.

Raphinha (RM) – Raphinha has been outstanding for Leeds this season and he will hope to continue his recent goalscoring form in this one.

Mateusz Klich (CM) – Klich hasn’t exactly been at the races for a while, but Bielsa clearly loves him and it’s unlikely we’ll see the Pole drop to the bench.

Stuart Dallas (CM) – Mr Versatile. Dallas has been in defence recently but needs to head back into midfield to offer up his energy and eye for a goal.

Jack Harrison (LM) – One of Leeds’ stars earlier in the season, Harrison hasn’t seen as many minutes recently and deserves to come back in and show what he can do. His replacement, Helder Costa, offered nothing against Villa.

Patrick Bamford
Bamford is Leeds’ top scorer | Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Patrick Bamford (ST) – In the last five games in which Bamford has scored, Leeds have gone on to win. Can he make it six?

For more from ​Tom Gott, follow him on ​Twitter!

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