Liverpool v Leeds United - MATCH THREAD - Cooper out, Struijk starts
09 Sep 2020 09:09 am, by Ellandback1
Liverpool v Leeds Utd
Saturday 12th September 2020 17.30 | Anfield
Leeds United will face the toughest of starts to the Premier League campaign when they travel to Anfield on 12th September to face Champions Liverpool. A battle of Champions vs Champions, Jürgen Klopp’s Heavy Metal Football vs Bielsaball is a tantalising prospect for Leeds United’s first game back in the topflight for sixteen years. Leeds United’s record is not great at Anfield only managing 8 wins in 56 visits, the last of those back in 2001 when goals from Ferdinand and Bowyer gave Leeds a 2-1 victory. The teams have faced each other twice since Leeds were last in the Premier League, on both occasions in the League cup with Liverpool winning both games 1-0 and 2-0. On the plus side, Leeds have never lost an opening match in the Premier League.
Having missed out on the first opportunity for silverware in the Charity Shield, Jurgen Klopp will ensure that all his players all fired up for this one. The Reds will be without Oxlade-Chamberlain whilst Tsimikas is in isolation having tested positive for Covid 19. They will line up with Mane, Salah and Firmino in attack, a daunting prospect for ant team.
Whilst I'm sure every Leeds player cannot wait to step out on the hallowed Anfield pitch, it is difficult to think of a harder game anywhere in the World! Bielsa must choose between the experience of Casilla or the youth of Meslier between the sticks. The Spaniard was highly tipped to leave in the Summer, but if this were the case why would have started both pre season friendlies with Casilla in goal?
With captain Liam Cooper injured, German International Robin Koch will start alongside Pascal Struijk in centra defence with Luke Ayling at right back and Stuart Dallas at left back. Kalvin Phillips suffered no ill effects after the England game, and will sit in front of the defence. Klich and Hernandez look set to occupy central midfield with Costa and Harrison out wide and Bamford as lone striker. We can expect to see marquee signing Rodrigo make an appearance at some point at Anfield as he takes his place on the bench.
Leeds Starting XI
Meslier, Ayling, Koch, Struijk, Dallas, Phillips, Klich, Harrison, Hernandez, Costa, Bamford
Subs: Casilla, Casey, Alioski, Poveda, Shackleton, Roberts, Rodrigo