Leeds team news: Predicted line-up vs Fulham – One change as Bielsa makes Rodrigo claim

Leeds United will be looking to pick up their first points of the Premier League season, as they host newly promoted Fulham at Elland Road. Marcelo Bielsa’s side earned plaudits aplenty for their opening day performance at Liverpool, although they were ultimately beaten.

Leeds will be hoping to not only win more admirers today, but also their first points of the new season.

Bielsa was given a massive pre-match boost prior to the game at Elland Road, with skipper Liam Cooper fit to return from injury.

The defender missed the 4-3 thriller at Anfield after picking up a calf injury on international duty earlier this month.

“We think Cooper will be ready to play the game on Saturday,” Bielsa said. “There’s no new injuries from the last few days.”

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Pascal Strujik came in to partner Robin Koch last week, but could be moved back to the bench with the return of the Whites’ first-choice central defender.

Cooper will be hoping to build a strong partnership with summer signing Koch, after Ben White returned to Brighton following a brilliant loan spell last season.

Bielsa made 11 changes to the side for the defeat to Hull City in the EFL Cup on Wednesday, the most controversial of which was goalkeeper Kiko Casilla being given the captain’s armband.

He was arguably at fault for Hull’s opener in midweek and Illan Meslier is likely to come straight back into the starting line-up.

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£27million signing Rodrigo started vs the Tigers but looks likely to be back on the bench vs Fulham, with Patrick Bamford retaining his starting berth.

Although he didn’t get on the scoresheet in their cup exit, he did impress on his first start for the club.

Bamford scored during the defeat on Merseyside and will likely do enough to keep hold of his place.

Despite struggling at times in the Championship, the Leeds boss believes he is good enough to impress in the top-flight.

“I think he has the required level to play in the Premier League,” Bielsa said. “But you have to show these things rather than declare them.

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Asked about Rodrigo’s adapatation to English football, the Leeds boss claimed: “He is already ready.

“He won’t start the game at the weekend, but he’s in a good condition to start if we want him to.

Elsewhere, the midfield impressed against Jurgen Klopp’s side, with Jack Harrison and Mateusz Klich helping themselves to a goal, while Helder Costa picked up and assist.

Those three, Kalvin Phillips and Pablo Hernandez will make up the midfield five as Leeds look to replicate the 3-0 win they achieved vs the Cottagers in June.

Leeds predicted line-up vs Fulham

Meslier; Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas; Phillips, Harrison, Klich, Hernandez, Costa; Bamford.

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