Marcelo Bielsa has made the bold move to name his Leeds United starting XI in his pre-match press conference ahead of Friday’s clash at Elland Road against West Ham United – and Hammers supporters have reacted on Twitter.
Both Leeds and the Hammers come into the match in decent form, but having lost their last match 3-1. Both sides took the lead against Chelsea and Manchester United respectively on the weekend – but were overcome by the Blues and United.
Since the match, Leeds have confirmed that both Robin Koch and Diego Llorente will be missing from Friday’s match – leaving the Whites somewhat lacking in options at centre-back. Bielsa was asked who would replace Koch at centre-back.
The Argentine not only responded by confirming either Kalvin Phillips or Luke Ayling would play alongside Liam Cooper, but he also stated that Rodrigo Moreno would come in for Koch. He then proceeded to name his entire starting XI.
Reporter: Are you going to keep West Ham guessing?
Marcelo: No, here's my Starting XI… pic.twitter.com/xoCGD4JvyU
— Leeds United (@LUFC) December 9, 2020
The likelihood is that Phillips will remain in the holding midfield role, while Ayling will come in from the right side of the defence and into the middle. Stuart Dallas will drop back to right-back – allowing Rodrigo to partner Mateusz Klich.
West Ham supporters reacted to the bizarre news that Bielsa had announced his starting line-up more than 48 hours before kick-off. Many were impressed by Bielsa’s quirkiness, while others think naming the side will play into West Ham’s hands.
Bielsa has just named his whole starting XI for the game against West Ham… if we are not prepared then I don’t know what goes on at football clubs
— Billy Sullivan (@BillySullivan27) December 9, 2020
sigh same. Bielsa too clever idk what he’s gonna do
— Omar⚒️ (@WHUOmar) December 10, 2020
Beautiful i find him entertaining as a manager. Does everything his own way.
— West Ham News & Views ⚒️ #GSBOUT (@WestHamViews_) December 9, 2020
Knowing the team and our tactics and being able to do anything about them are two different things.
— Jae (@jayharbee) December 9, 2020
But daft of him to announce it we still have training sessions to complete 🤣
— Ibby (@1bbyWHU) December 9, 2020
Don't matter what side you put out. There ain't 11 players at your club who's capable of beating West Ham right now. ⚒️👍👍⚒️
— WHUGREG🇮🇪🏴⚒️👍 #GSBOUT (@whugreg) December 9, 2020