Predicted Leeds starting XI vs Aston Villa

Leeds United will be hoping to stay at the top as they head into the final game before Christmas against Aston Villa on Sunday.

Aston Villa have found their mojo back under Dean Smith and are one of the in-form teams in the Championship. They have scored 21 goals in their last seven games, and the clash at Villa Park promises to be a fascinating contest.

Leeds are a well organised side under Bielsa, and the Whites have just conceded one goal in their recent winning run. They will be heavily boosted by the return of Liam Cooper who has returned to training this week.

Kalvin Philipps has done well in central defence alongside Pontus Jansson, but Cooper’s inclusion will see the midfielder moving to his natural position once again.

If Cooper is fit enough for this game, Bielsa must not hesitate to include him. It is a big game, and a victory here will have a huge psychological impact on the side going into the busy festive period.

Also, Cooper’s return will see Lewis Baker dropping down to the bench. The 23-year-old failed to make the best use of the opportunity last week, and he is the one who should make way.

One more change Bielsa can make is giving Patrick Bamford – who scored against Bolton – the nod ahead of Kemar Roofe.

It’s incredible that he hasn’t started a league game despite arriving for £7million from Boro in the summer. It’s time for Bamford to announce himself now.

Here’s the possible Leeds starting line-up: Peacock-Farrell, Douglas, Cooper, Jansson, Shackleton, Phillips, Forshaw, Klich, Hernandez, Alioski, Bamford.