Premier League champions Liverpool kick off their title defence at Anfield, as they take on newsboys Leeds United in the opening weekend of the season. The Whites are back in the top flight after 16 seasons and will look to make their presence felt after their historic return to the competition.
The two sides have a rich history between them and are set to lock horns in what promises to be a captivating encounter. Jurgen Klopp's men haven't tweaked their squad too much in the transfer window, with the German speaking earlier this week about the financial impact of the coronavirus.
Marcelo Bielsa, on the other hand, has splashed the cash in Leeds' return to the Premier League and will look to weave his magic in the English top division for the first time. The eccentric Argentine is one of the most talked-about managers in the continent and looks set to be a valuable addition to the most entertaining league in the world.
Both managers believe in a brand of attacking football and Anfield looks set to play host to a cracker of a game, with the Premier League champions going head to head with the Championship winners.
Liverpool vs Leeds United Head to Head
The last Premier League meeting between the two sides ended in a 2-2 draw in February 2004. James Milner turned out for Leeds United at Elland Road on the night, with the veteran Englishman starting in central midfield for his boyhood club.
Liverpool have won seven of their last ten games against Leeds in all competitions, with their last defeat against the Whites dating as far back as April 2001.
Liverpool vs Leeds United Team News
Liverpool have a handful of fitness problems ahead of the Premier League opener. Jordan Henderson is lacking match practise after recovering from a knee injury and is unlikely to be available from the start, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been ruled out after picking up an injury in the Reds' training camp in Austria.
New signing Kostas Tsimikas tested positive for COVID-19 on international duty is in isolation, as he looks set to wait for his Liverpool debut.
Trent Alexander-Arnold missed the entirety of pre-season but returned to action for England in their 0-0 draw against Denmark, with the newly crowned PFA Young Player of the Year expected to take his right-back spot from Neco Williams.
Gini Wijnaldum's future is still up in the air, but the Dutchman is expected to be included in the squad by Jurgen Klopp. Barcelona have reportedly made the 29-year-old their top target and it remains to be seen if he secures a move to the Camp Nou, with Bayern Munich's Thiago Alcantara expected to fill the void left by the Dutchman.
Injuries: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kostas Tsimikas
Doubtful: Jordan Henderson
Marcelo Bielsa confirmed earlier today that he has a fully fit squad at his disposal barring Adam Forshaw, who has been absent since February due to a hip injury. The Argentine lavished praise on reigning champions Liverpool and admitted that Leeds United have their work cut out for them to secure a positive result.
"It’s a very special game. Full of different scenarios to last season. “Liverpool are a just champion with a consistent style of play."
"Without a doubt one of the best teams in the world. They have a defined system with very good players."
New signings Rodrigo Moreno and Robin Koch have been training with the first team since the international break and should make the squad, while Kalvin Phillips will be raring to go after making his England debut earlier this week.
Injuries: Adam Forshaw
Liverpool vs Leeds United Predicted XIs
Liverpool Predicted XI (4-3-3): Alisson Becker; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson; Fabinho, James Milner, Naby Keita; Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane
Leeds United Predicted XI (4-1-4-1): Illan Meslier; Stuart Dallas, Luke Ayling, Liam Cooper, Barry Douglas; Kalvin Phillips; Helder Costa, Mateusz Klich, Pablo Hernandez, Jack Harrison; Patrick Bamford
Liverpool vs Leeds United Prediction
Marcelo Bielsa is one of the most experienced managers in the game and has preached a free-flowing brand of attacking football at Elland Road. Leeds United will be eager to play their football and go toe to toe with Liverpool, but the Reds hardly drop points at Anfield and tend to put away teams even when they are off colour.
The away side aren't pushovers, but the Premier League champions could have too much in their locker for Bielsa and co.
Prediction: Liverpool 3-1 Leeds United
Published 10 Sep 2020, 23:29 IST