Derby County v Leeds Utd
Sunday 19th July at 1.30pm | Pride Park
Shock defeats for both West Brom and Brentford over the weekend mean that Leeds United travel to Pride Park as Champions. Marcelo Bielsa’s players celebrated with the fans on Friday night, but they returned to training on Saturday morning (some with sore heads) and they will want to finish the season in style, especially against Derby. Their over exaggerated account of Spygate is still fresh in minds of minds of many Whites fans, as is the second leg of the play offs when individual errors caused a meltdown in the Leeds ranks.
Derby’s season is also effectively over after defeat to Cardiff means the play-off places are out of reach. But they still have pride to play for and will not want to be turned over by Marcelo Bielsa’s men at home. Prior to Leeds promotion, Rams Manager Phillip Cocu was quoted as saying…
We have some pride, we play a home game and try to win every game. It will not be an easy game, they have a lot to play for, and so we have to be ready. The mood is better. We needed a couple of days to straighten our backs (after the defeat by Cardiff) because the play-offs are out of reach for us. There was a big disappointment for everybody. Now we have started to focus on the game on Sunday.
Helder Costa joined Kalvin Phillips on the treatment table after a rib injury picked up during the Barnsley game, both will not feature for the remaining games against Derby or Charlton. With the pressure off Bielsa has rung the changes, making seven changes giving oportunities to some of the younger players. Kiko Casilla returns to the side for the first time since his ban with a back like featuring Douglas, White, Berardi, Struijk, Dallas in front of him. Alioski and Poveda take to the wings with Shackleton and Hernandez in the middle. Tyler Roberts will play up front in place of Patrick Bamford. The changes also brings to an end an incredible run of 92 starts in a row for Mateusz Klich.
There is some symmetry to our time out of the top flight and playing Derby County as @lufcstats has pointed out on Twitter. Today will be Leeds United's 417th and final away game as a Football League club since relegation on 3004. Our first game back in the Football League after relegation in 2004 was Derby at home, our last game in the Championship in 2007 was Derby away, and our first game back in 2010 was Derby home and Bielsa’s first away game was Derby away!
Leeds Starting XI
Casilla, Douglas, White, Berardi, Struijk, Dallas, Poveda, Shackleton, Alioski, Hernandez, Roberts
Subs: Miazek, Ayling, Cooper, Casey, Davis, Klich, Bogusz, Harrison, Bamford