Leeds United line-ups as key doubt emerges ahead of Tottenham Hotspur trip

Leeds United complete their Premier League festive schedule on Saturday with a trip to north London to face Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur side.

The Whites will be looking for a third win in a row in the lunchtime kick-off in what will be their third match in less than a week.

But how should the Whites line-up against Spurs?

Here, our Leeds United reporters share their preferred starting line-ups…

Joe Mewis

This will be a fascinating match for Leeds United to kick 2021 off with. This month’s defeats to Chelsea and Manchester United have suggested that Leeds are struggling against the kind of teams that have packed their squads out with hundreds of millions of pounds’ worth of players.

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There’s no shame in that – six of the XI that started at Old Trafford were three years ago a part of a Leeds side that was limping towards the Championship mid-table – but the trip to Tottenham gives Bielsa’s men another chance to test themselves against a perceived title contender.

With the games coming thick and fast it appears fanciful to expect Liam Cooper or Diego Llorente to return, so Luke Ayling and Pascal Struijk will likely get the chance to continue what is a very promising partnership at the back. Stuart Dallas and Gjanni Alioski both put in textbook Bielsa full-back performances against West Brom, so keep their places.

Mateusz Klich’s fitness is the big question mark, with Bielsa unsure of the severity of the knock the Pole took to the thigh which forced him to be subbed off at The Hawthorns. With my optimistic hat on I’ll include him in my XI as his energy will be required in what will be a tough midfield battle. A two-week layoff before Leeds’ next Premier League fixture is another factor here. Jamie Shackleton waits in the wings, hwoever.

Attack-wise, it’s hard to envisage any changes. Raphinha is shaping up to be one of the bargains of the season and Jack Harrison added another fine goal to his tally on Tuesday night, while Patrick Bamford did everything but score against the Baggies.

Joe M’s XI: Meslier; Dallas, Ayling, Struijk, Alioski; Phillips, Klich, Rodrigo, Harrison, Raphinha; Bamford

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Joe Donnohue

Two wins on the bounce, two clean sheets and six goals scored; it’s not often this season we’ve been delighted to see the back four remain the same but that should be exactly the case this weekend. Struijk and Ayling appear to be quite a good pairing, despite their relative inexperience at the top level, however that could all come crashing down facing up to Harry Kane and Son Heung-min. The challenge of Burnley and West Bromwich Albion is somewhat different to the one Leeds are up against this weekend.

That said, Leeds don’t have too many defensive options to choose from, assuming that Diego Llorente’s setback and Liam Cooper’s abdominal injury keep the first choice duo out. Gjanni Alioski and Stuart Dallas had a hand in goals against West Brom so will likely retain their places in the back four.

It is in the midfield where there could well be changes. Mateusz Klich has suffered from some patchy form and a thigh injury forced him off at The Hawthorns. That could mean he misses the Spurs game and Pablo Hernandez is recalled to the starting XI. However, it may be more likely that Jamie Shackleton fills in, given that Pablo is less of a defensive influence and Spurs will look to catch Leeds on the break.

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Going forward, there do not need to be wholesale changes; Patrick Bamford is fit and firing, as are Raphinha and Jack Harrison. Rodrigo also came into his own in the 5-0 win over West Brom so should retain his place in the middle, with Kalvin Phillips protecting in behind after another solid display.

It will be a tough game and Bielsa may just have learned from what he described as his own error of judgement in losing the midfield battle against Man United, meaning it could be a rare start for Shackleton in place of Klich, given the youngster impressed in replacing the Pole against the Baggies.

Joe D’s XI: Meslier; Dallas, Ayling, Struijk, Alioski; Phillips, Shackleton, Rodrigo, Harrison, Raphinha; Bamford

Now it’s your turn to have your say on how you think Leeds United should line up at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday lunchtime.

Choose your preferred starting Leeds XI by using the team selector above.

And don’t forget to share your starting lineup with us on our Twitter and Facebook channels or in the comments below.

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