Match: Millwall v Leeds United
Date: 15 September 2018
Time: 15.00 BST, 10.00 AM EDT, 11.00 PM ART
Venue: The New Den
All-time Record: Leeds v Milwall: 15W 4D 17L
Previous League Results: 16 September 2017 Milwall 1 - 0 Leeds; 20 January 2018 Leeds 3 - 4 Millwall
Leeds United will travel to London to take on Millwall at the New Den on Saturday, with a significantly weakened squad. Marcelo Bielsa confirmed that in addition to Patrick Bamford, who was injured in a U23 match over the international break, Kemar Roofe, Gaetano Berardi, and Pablo Hernandez would all miss the match.
Bielsa seemed to indicate that Tyler Roberts, who made his senior Wales international debut during the break, would be given an opportunity to start. The club still has Matuesz Klich, who has made an impressive career comeback after being sidelined by former Leeds head coach Thomas Christiansen, who scored over the weeked for Poland against the Republic of Ireland and also Gjanni Alioski, who scored two goals during the break.
they're big losses but I don't think it makes Saturday unwinnable. Reliant now on very big performances from Klich/Saiz/ Phillips and for Harrison to step up. Half wondering if he might bring in Baker, play Saiz up front and effectively go without a centre-forward.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) September 13, 2018
However, despite the success and skill of the club’s wingers and attacking midfielders, Leeds is still short on strikers with the first two choice strikers out. Samu Saiz has played at striker in his career, but he’s best playing as a number 10/ enganche role. Jack Harrison will get an opportunity to start in the place of Hernandez, but Leeds will miss the Spaniard at set pieces. Lewis Baker might also be called into play in the starting XI.
The easiest player to replace might be Gaetano Berardi, as Sweden international Pontus Jansson will get the start alongside Liam Cooper. Jansson is perhaps Leeds’ best defender, so it won’t be a stretch to see him start, and play well, at CB, even if it means Berardi, who is playing in the form of his life as a central defender under Bielsa, will miss out.
Millwall is always a tough match for Leeds, as last year’s visit to the New Den seemed to destroy Christiansen’s well-laid plans on how he wanted the team to play football, and the 4-3 loss in January, after Leeds had come back from 2-0 down at halftime and down to 10 men, only to throw the match away in the closing minutes, completely took the sails out of the season. Bielsa is an experienced a manager as there is in the Championship, and he won’t be intimidated by the atmosphere, so hopefully he will keep the team level and prepared to get a result.