Leeds United will hope to return to winning ways in the Premier League on Saturday when they face Arsenal at Elland Road.
The Whites suffered a humiliating 7-0 defeat against Manchester City on Tuesday evening – their joint-worst ever league defeat. Marcelo Bielsa, who was stunned after full-time at the Etihad Stadium, will expect a strong response from his team at the weekend.
Arsenal, meanwhile, will travel to Elland Road seeking to consolidate their top-four spot. The Gunners climbed into the top four by beating 10-man West Ham at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Leeds United’s injury problems have gone from bad to worse with Daniel James the latest player to enter the treatment room. The Welsh winger picked up a muscular injury during the Whites’ heavy defeat to Manchester City, with Bielsa confirming he’s out of the Arsenal fixture, along with Jamie Shackleton, who was forced off with an Achilles problem.
Junior Firpo is suspended having picked up his fifth booking of the season on Tuesday. Kalvin Phillips has been ruled out for at least two months after undergoing surgery to treat his hamstring injury, while Liam Cooper and Patrick Bamford will miss the match due to injuries as well.
Pascal Struijk injured his foot in training before the Chelsea game and remains a big doubt ahead of Arsenal’s visit. In a rare positive update on the injury front, Robin Koch has recovered from pelvic injury and is available for selection.
Illan Meslier was helpless in Leeds’ chastening evening at Manchester City, conceding seven goals in the process. Yet, the young Frenchman will once again find himself between the sticks on Saturday.
Robin Koch, having recovered from a serious pelvic injury, could be thrown starting into the Leeds United lineup following Leeds’ injury problems. The German will partner Diego Llorente at centre-back, with Stuart Dallas and Luke Ayling expected to retain their spots at full-back.
Bernd Leno and Sead Kolasinac are the only Arsenal players side-lined at the moment. Gabriel Martinelli remains a slight concern as he hobbled off in the second half of the Gunners’ 2-0 win over West Ham.
Meanwhile, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been left out of back-to-back matchday squads after being stripped of the captaincy for his latest disciplinary breach. Expect the Gabonese to miss out again.
Having kept his eighth clean sheet of the season on Wednesday, Aaron Ramsdale will be hungry for more. He is set to continue in the Arsenal goal against Leeds. Arteta has preferred to stick with a steady backline this campaign, and no changes are likely. This means Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes and Kieran Tierney are set to start.
Granit Xhaka’s return from injury has provided more solidity to the Gunners’ midfield. The Swiss will partner the improving Thomas Partey in the centre of the pitch again.
Gabriel Martinelli is expected to recover in time to face Leeds, and with four-goal contributions in five appearances, the young Brazilian is in red-hot form and deserves to keep his place in the side. Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard will look to combine well in the final third and cause problems to Bielsa’s side.
Up front, Alexandre Lacazette has repaid the manager’s faith in recent starts and is set to lead the Arsenal attack at Elland Road.
Leeds United vs Arsenal – Predicted Lineups
Leeds United Predicted Lineup (4-2-3-1): Illan Meslier; Stuart Dallas, Robin Koch Diego Llorente, Luke Ayling; Mateusz Klich, Adam Forshaw; Raphinha, Jack Harrison, Tyler Roberts; Joe Gelhardt
Arsenal Predicted Lineup (4-2-3-1): Aaron Ramsdale; Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes, Kieran Tierney; Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey; Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Martinelli; Alexandre Lacazette.
Predicted Score: Leeds 0-3 Arsenal.