The Premier League weekend kicks off at Elland Road on Friday night, as Leeds United welcome West Ham United with hopes of making it into the top half of the table before the rest of the weekend's games kick-off.
With almost a quarter of the season gone in a flash, both sides will be happy with where they find themselves after 11 games, with the Hammers heading into the game in eighth place, a position that they’d be thrilled to hold on to until the season’s end.
West Ham’s turnaround after a tough start to the season has been impressive, and David Moyes will lock horns with Marcelo Bielsa knowing that a win could take them fifth before their rivals play.
Speaking of Bielsa, the likeable Argentinian coach took the unusual step of naming his full Leeds team to play West Ham during Thursday’s press conference after being asked whether he had any surprises in store for Moyes.
The former Marseille manager reeled off his XI, which includes Luke Ayling at centre-back alongside Liam Cooper in place of Robin Koch, who will miss the next three months through injury, with summer signing Rodrigo starting in midfield.
Other than that, the Whites will be unchanged from the side that lost 3-1 to Chelsea last weekend. Patrick Bamford described Frank Lampard’s side as the best he’s faced this season, and will continue to lead the line as he looks to notch his ninth goal of an impressive season so far.
For the travelling Irons, top scorer Michail Antonio will miss out with a thigh injury picked up recently, so Sebastien Haller is likely to continue in his absence. There’s more positive news in the shape of Ryan Fredericks though, as the right-back should make the squad after a groin strain.
Andriy Yarmolenko is regaining fitness after contracting coronavirus, and should also be involved after missing the defeat to Manchester United last weekend.
Leeds United take on West Ham at Elland Road on Friday, December 11th. Kick-off is at 8pm.