Leeds United line-up vs Southampton as Piroe is axed and wholesale changes tempt

Joel Piroe would drop out of the Leeds United team for Beren Cross -Credit:Andrew Fosker/REX/Shutterstock
Joel Piroe would drop out of the Leeds United team for Beren Cross -Credit:Andrew Fosker/REX/Shutterstock

Wholesale changes are the temptation after last week’s Leeds United nadir at Loftus Road, but alternatives are thin on the ground. There is one change in the side I would pick, but the other 10 get the benefit of the doubt after an uninterrupted week of training.

Joel Piroe, a shadow of the confident goal scorer we saw at Swansea City, drops out of my XI to face Southampton. If Patrick Bamford is fit, then he starts, but given his first day of full training was expected to be no earlier than today, it could be asking too much of him.

Experience did not seem to do a huge amount for Piroe’s performance last week, so Mateo Joseph would get the nod from me in front of a home crowd. The other change which feels most tantalising comes from Glen Kamara.

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The Finn was among those who had struggled since the international break and, understandably, had lost his place in midfield to Archie Gray. However, after Gray’s tribulations last week and Farke’s desire for more experience and bite, Kamara’s a temptation.

It’s not worth taking Sam Byram, another experienced head, out of the team, though, to accommodate Kamara with Gray returned to right-back. Connor Roberts is an option I would love to use at right-back, but, again, Farke seemed far from confident with the Wales international’s sharpness to start.

There is more than enough credit in the bank for Joe Rodon, Ethan Ampadu, Wilfried Gnonto, Georginio Rutter and Crysencio Summerville to continue. Illan Meslier does not quite have the same value banked, but Karl Darlow has never given us much reason to believe he would be an improvement between the sticks.

Beren’s XI: Meslier; Byram, Rodon, Ampadu, Firpo; Gray, Gruev; Gnonto, Rutter, Summerville; Joseph.