Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Predicted Leeds team to face Southampton: Phillips and Cooper edge closer as one could start

Kalvin Phillips of Leeds

Following a refreshing run of good form under Jesse Marsch, the predicted Leeds team to face Southampton could be boosted by at least one key man’s return.

The Whites have begun to turn things around under new coach Marsch. Indeed, the American took charge following a four-game losing streak which saw the back of former coach Marcelo Bielsa.

While Leeds took a couple of games to get up to speed under Marsch, it appears they have now found their feet.The Elland Road outfit have won their last two games on the spin, a 2-1 victory against Norwich City followed by a 3-2 win over Wolves.

Marsch’s side are now seven points above the drop zone, and they will be hoping to extend that gap. The potential returns of Liam Cooper and Kalvin Phillips could well inspire further good form, and Marsch hinted at at least one return ahead of the match against Southampton.

“They are in contention to start. Both not fully 90 minutes fit, but really close,” he said. “I don’t think we can start both of them because it becomes two subs we may have to make.

“I’ve spoken to both and they are both feeling good, looking even better. Excited to have them in the group now and believe they can have an impact.”

Leeds have, however, suffered a setback thanks to the injury of Patrick Bamford. That means somebody else will have to play up top, and Marsch hinted at who that might be.

“With Rodrigo he wants to learn our ideas, commit to the tactics and be aggressive, have quality and execute in the last third. Working with him has been outstanding,” Marsch said.

Last time out – Wolves 2-3 Leeds

Illan Meslier played in goal, though he was forced off through injury early in the second half. The full-back positions were occupied by Stuart Dallas and Luke Ayling, who scored the winner.

Diego Llorente and Pascal Struijk played in the heart of the defence, the former picked up a knock which forced him off.

Kalvin Phillips is happy to extend Leeds contract

Provided that Leeds stay up, Kalvin Phillips is reportedly happy to extend his contract at Leeds United.

The holding-midfield duo were Adam Forshaw and Mateusz Klich.

The attacking-midfield positions were occupied by Daniel James, Rodrigo and Jack Harrison, the latter pair got their names on the scoresheet.

Bamford started up top, but was forced off early, with an injury that will see him miss most of the rest of the season.

Predicted Leeds team against Southampton

Injuries and players returning from the fringes mean that the Whites team could have a few changes in it.

Meslier is expected to be fit, so he could start in net. Ayling and Dallas could once again occupy the full-back roles.

The two centre-backs may be Llorente and Struijk, should the former be fully fit.

Phillips could return to the side for the first time since December, to give Leeds a welcome boost of energy, alongside Forshaw.

Raphinha may play with James and Harrison in behind the striker. Marsch was coy about the striker position, but it could be filled by Rodrigo, following the manager’s comments.

Predicted Leeds XI: Meslier; Ayling, Llorente, Struijk, Dallas; Phillips, Forshaw; James, Raphinha, Harrison; Rodrigo

READ MORE: Bamford insists he is not cocky as he reveals his own big blunder caused latest Leeds injury