France youth international Illan Meslier will take the place of former Spain and Real Madrid goalkeeper Kiko Casilla in goal. It is a good chance for Meslier to bed himself in, having not had any first team football since a run in the side at Lorient. It could prove invaluable as Meslier could be required to play an extended run of game should Casilla be banned for the racism allegation against him.
Marcelo on playing Illan and Robbie: "Meslier is a goalkeeper with first team experience, and Gotts is in his best moment in our process. It's just one first step in the beginning of his career. If they play well, don't play well, it isn't going to change anything." pic.twitter.com/zrWyZhK6RZ— Leeds United (@LUFC) January 4, 2020
Captain Liam Cooper will be rested for the game, with former Switzerland international Gaetano Berardi taking his place in central defence. Having made a good substitute appearance against West Bromwich Albion Barry Douglas will start at left-back, Ezgjan Alioski will move forward on to the right-wing allowing Leeds to rest Helder Costa.
Robbie Gotts has been named as an unused substitute in 35 first team matches for Leeds, but is finally set to make his competitive debut against Arsenal. Dream opportunity. #LUFC pic.twitter.com/GB7SavD41W— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) January 4, 2020
Finally, and “finally” must be what he is thinking, Robbie Gotts will start in place on Northern Ireland’s Stuart Dallas in the centre of midfield. Gotts is the record holder for most appearances on the bench without making an appearance with 35, something which Bielsa admitted to feeling guilty about, but Gotts will now finally get a chance following his good performances for the u23 side.
Meslier will start and Gotts too will make his debut v Arsenal. Alioski & Douglas will start. #lufc— Adam Pope (@apopey) January 4, 2020
4-1-4-1: Meslier; Ayling, White, Berardi, Douglas; Phillips; Alioski, Gotts, Klich, Harrison; Bamford.
Personally, I would like Poland international Mateusz Klich get a rest as well, but with Adam Forshaw and Jamie Shackleton unavailable that is unlikely to happen. I would also like to see Mateusz Bogusz involved in some way.