Leeds Utd v Arsenal Match Thread - Raphinha, Phillips and Alioski start, Rodrigo makes the bench by
19 Nov 2020 09:38 am, by Ellandback1
Sunday 22nd November 4:30pm | Elland Road | Live on Sky Sports
Having suffered crushing back to back defeats at the hands of Leicester City and Crystal Palace, Leeds will be relieved that record signing Rodrigo has completed his quarantine following a positive Covid-19 test, and is fit to feature against the Gunners on Sunday afternoon. Furthermore Kalvin Phillips has recovered from the shoulder injury picked up against Wolves and is likely to return to the starting eleven. Phillips has been a big miss for Leeds over the past two games, his ability to break down opposition plays and stop the counter attack was missed against Leicester and Palace.
Spanish International Llorente had returned after a month on the side-lines following the muscle injury he picked up on international duty however he suffered a small setback. He is now back in training again but unlikely to be part of the squad this weekend. Robin Koch will likely play alongside Liam Cooper in the centre of defence but will have to get over an absolute nightmare of a game midweek for Germany, as they were hammered 6-0 by Spain. Long term casualty Adam Forshaw is finally injury free, but expect him to feature in at least one U23 game before any first team appearances!
Marcelo Bielsa and talisman Pablo Hernandez are understood to have patched up their differences, but the Spaniard has picked up an injury and will be absent this weekend. With Rodrigo not 100% it could mean a first start for Brazilian sensation Raphinha who has impressed in substitute appearances.
Gunners defender Sead Kolasinac joins midfielder Mohamed Elneny in quarantine for seven days, having both tested positive for Covid-19. Thomas Partey is also missing from Mikel Arteta’s squad, the Ghanaian international having picked up an injury very early in Arsenal’s game against Aston Villa. Up font Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has looked a shadow of his usual self just three goals in all competitions and whilst Alexandre Lacazette started the season with a bang, scoring in three consecutive matches he has looked off the pace recently.
It might mean Mikel Arteta might change things up this weekend and he could do just that after Reiss Nelson was left out of Arsenal's Under-23 squad to face Everton on Friday. Eddie Nketiah may also feature against his former loanee club having scored another brace for England U21's midweek.
The Premier League have appointed Anthony Taylor to referee the clash between the two giants. Taylor officiated the last time the two sides met back in January of this year in he FA Cup. He was also in charge of second round of the play off against Derby County (lets not even go there)! Leeds won their first game in almost a decade with Taylor officiating earlier this season when the Whites make heavy weather of beating Fulham 4-3 earlier this season.
Leeds Starting XI
Meslier, Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas, Phillips, Klich, Alioski, Raphinha, Harrison, Bamford
Subs: Casilla, Struijk, Davis, Rodrigo, Costa, Roberts, Poveda