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Leeds v Burnley - Possible starting XI's

As Leeds and Burnley prepare for this weekends opener at Elland Road, Steff Ladley takes a look at the potential starting XI's both sides will field in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

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Leeds' pre season has seemed much more organised and much less manic this year compared to recent years which has played its part in the quiet optimism building around Elland Road. Many fans are eager to see how LUFC start on Saturday against recently relegated Burnley, who themselves have high aspirations as they aim to bounce straight back having kept the majority of their squad together. Here is how I think both sides will start on Saturday.


I don't think there will be many surprises in the Leeds team on Saturday and it is also quite clear they will start with a 4-3-3.

Starting from the back, Silvestri showed his quality last year and Rosler has made it clear he will start as number 1 with Ross Turnbull being a strong back up in this league. Charlie Taylor has made the left back spot his own and with Byram being used further forward Berardi is our next strongest right back in the squad. Sol Bamba is the leader in the defence and has rightfully been given the armband for the coming season.

The only debating point in my opinion across the back line is the second centre half spot. Liam Cooper and Guiseppe Bellusci are both in contention and I think Bellusci will get the nod from the gaffer on Saturday.

The midfield 3 would have been a tough decision for Rosler had Luke Murphy been fit and available after his terrific end to last season. I think he would have been competing with Tom Adeyemi to sit alongside Lewis Cook in the middle of the LUFC midfield. However, due to Murphy's injury then these two energetic midfielders should line up alongside each other Saturday lunchtime.

I expect Alex Mowatt to start just ahead of them for Leeds in a free-ish sort of role. Much is expected of the goal scoring midfielder and this could be the ideal formation to get the best out of him, especially if his goal against Everton is anything to go by.

On the right of the front 3, Sam Byram will certainly start barring a late injury. He has played there for virtually all of our pre season and has impressed throughout. It could be his year to shine further up the pitch and supply the central striker, which will be Chris Wood on Saturday. The £3 million hitman scored a great goal last week and seems very confident about leading the line. The big decision for Rosler on Saturday could be on the left hand side of the front 3. Stuart Dallas is the new man who has come in from Brentford and impressed a lot for them last season as they reached the play offs. During the season I expect Dallas to start most games for Leeds out wide on the left. However, I feel Rosler may use him off the bench on Saturday to ease him in and if this is the case then Doukara may get the nod against Burnley.

Possible bench: Turnbull, Cooper, Wooton, K Phillips, Dallas, Erwin, Antenucci


Burnley's starting XI is based on both their pre season games and last years performances. Tom Heaton was magnificent for them last season, as was Michael Keane. Duff is 37 now but is the only other experienced centre half in the ranks at Burnley unless they choose to give youth a chance.

Matthew Lowton was brought in from Aston Villa but is a doubt to play Leeds due to a knock so another new signing, Darikwa from Chesterfield, could start at right back. They have Stephen Ward or Ben Mee as possible options at left back and either are more than good enough at this level.

Burnley don't seem to be overloaded with midfield options. They have Dean Marney, and Fredrik Ulvestad out injured so only have David Jones, Matty Taylor and Scott Arfield as experienced first team players who have played in the middle of the park. Out wide they have two very tricky players in George Boyd and Michael Kightly who Leeds will have to find a way of keeping quiet on Saturday or they will be punished.

If Burnley don't have too many options in midfield or at the back, they certainly do up front. They have 6 strikers who have experience at this level and 5 of them are available at the weekend. A strikforce involving any of Chris Long, Marvin Sordell and Sam Vokes could be picked by Burnley but I have predicted they will start with new signing Jelle Vossen from Middlesborough and Lukas Jutkiewicz, who has impressed with 4 goals in pre season.

Possible bench: Gilks, Anderson, Ward, Arfield, Long, Sordell, Vokes