Charlton vs Leeds: £15million man to make full debut, Arsenal loanee to stay on bench as Lee Bowyer faces former club

Marcelo Bielsa’s in-form Leeds will be looking to maintain their push from promotion to the Premier League when they travel to Charlton on Saturday.

Both sides have enjoyed good starts to the season with the Whites top of the Championship table and the newly-promoted Addicks in eighth place after eight games.

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Marcelo Bielsa is one of England’s most highly thought of managers
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Leeds are vying for automatic promotion after narrowly missing out last season, while survival is Charlton’s priority.

The clash sees Lee Bowyer, a popular figure at Elland Road following his seven-year playing spell in West Yorkshire, face off against his former club as a manager.

Despite back-to-back losses for Bowyer’s men, it looks set to be a cracking game with Charlton suffering just two league defeats at home in almost a year.

Bowyer believes it will be the toughest test of the season for his team, but has vowed to go all out for victory.

“It’s a massive challenge. For me they’re the best team in the league,” he said.

“They should have gone up last season but fell just short. I watched Leeds the season before he took over and what he’s done is unbelievable. There’s not much difference to the squad that he [Marcelo Bielsa] took over and the squad that he’s got now. So, I have the utmost respect for him and all his staff and what they’ve done there.

“It’s going to be a tough game. they’re up the top for a reason. It’s going to be a good challenge.

“We’ve got a game plan and we’re at home. We’re not going to sit back and invite pressure because it’ll be like when teams play Manchester City, the law of averages says that they’re going to score at some stage. We have to play our game. No one seems to do that, everyone seems to give them too much respect and sit off of them, we won’t be doing that we’re going to play the way that we play; that’s got us to where we are today.”

Below, talkSPORT.com takes a look at how both sides could line up at The Valley.

Charlton’s likely line up

Bowyer will be looking for a reaction from his players after disappointing defeats to Birmingham and Wigan.

And once again, he will be without talisman Lyle Taylor, who is sidelined with a knee injury.

It is no coincidence that Charlton’s only league defeats of the season have come during Taylor’s absence.

The 29-year-old had netted five goals in his opening six Championship games before his injury setback earlier this month.

Now, the responsibility lies on Tomer Hemed, a free transfer arrival from Brighton last month, to score the goals for the Addicks.

Hemed started his first Charlton game in last weekend’s defeat at Wigan, but was hooked off after 62 minutes.

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Lee Bowyer spent seven years of his playing career with Leeds
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Bowyer could revert to a 3-5-2 shape, a formation that helped Charlton win last season’s League One play-off final, to nullify Leeds’ attack.

Dillon Phillips will be looking to continue his solid start to the season in goal, with former Leeds captain Jason Pearce back in defence.

Pearce was only deemed fit enough for the bench in the Wigan loss due to a minor groin issue.

He could have Naby Sarr and Tom Lockyer on either side of him with Chris Solly and Ben Purrington operating the wing-back roles.

Bowyer would be wise to turn to experienced pro Darren Pratley, who could be partnered in midfield by Josh Cullen and Conor Gallagher.

Hemed and Jonathan Leko failed to impress at the DW Stadium, but could be given another chance against Leeds.

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Is this how Charlton will line up against Leeds?
buildlineup.com

Leeds’ likely line up

Bielsa will be without his star man Pablo Hernandez, who has been ruled out with a muscular problem.

But the Argentine has confirmed Helder Costa, who signed from Wolves on an initial one-year loan which will be made permanent next summer, will replace the veteran midfielder.

Costa, who will cost Leeds £15million, has been restricted to substitute appearances in the Championship so far, but Bielsa has confirmed he will be unleashed from the start this weekend.

Bielsa is unlikely to change a back four that has conceded just four goals this season. So goalkeeper Kiko Casilla will continue in goal with Stuart Dallas, Ben White, captain Liam Cooper and Ezgjan Alioski in front of him.

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Will Patrick Bamford keep his place in Leeds’ starting XI?
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Right-back Luke Ayling could make the matchday squad for the first time in the 2019/20 campaign after recovering from an ankle injury.

Leeds academy graduate Kalvin Phillips is expected to anchor the midfield in Bielsa’s preferred 4-1-4-1 formation.

With Costa and Jack Harrison occupying the wide positions, Adam Forshaw could return to partner Mateusz Klich in the middle of the park.

Forshaw has missed Leeds’ past two games with a hip injury, but is is back in contention to start.

Patrick Bamford, without a goal in his last three games, will be hoping to break his drought with Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah breathing down his neck for a starting place.

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Is this how Leeds will line up against Charlton?
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