Leeds United v Villarreal team news: Liam Cooper starts and youngsters involved but first team trio missing

Liam Cooper starts but Kalvin Phillips is on the bench as Leeds United face their final pre-season friendly against Villarreal tonight in a game played behind closed doors (kick-off 7pm).

Saturday, 7th August 2021, 6:44 pm

Phillips and Cooper played no part in United's opening first team friendlies against Blackburn Rovers or Real Betis but the duo both started as a Leeds XI took on Ajax under-21s on Wednesday lunchtime.

Cooper now starts against Villarreal in a fixture that comes seven days before the Premier League opener against arch rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford.

But England international star Phillips is on the bench which also features youngsters Cody Drameh, Sam Greenwood and Liam McCarron.

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ON THE BENCH: Leeds United's England international midfielder Kalvin Phillips. Photo by Paul Ellis - Pool/Getty Images.

Diego Llorente, Jamie Shackleton and Junior Firpo are all missing.

Llorente went off injured in last weekend's pre-season friendly against Real Betis whilst Shackleton came off following a blow to the head in Wednesday night's clash against Ajax.

Firpo missed that contest having started both of United's other two first team friendlies against Betis and Blackburn Rovers.

Youngsters Joe Gelhardt and Charlie Cresswell are also not involved.

Gelhardt went off injured in United's opening under-23s friendly against Guiseley whilst Cresswell suffered a knock to the head in the 23s clash at Fleetwood Town.

The returning Adam Forshaw does not make the bench which also features Tyler Roberts, Helder Costa and new 'keeper recruit Kristoffer Klaesson.

Crysencio Summerville and Jack Jenkins were on the bench for the first team friendly against Ajax but neither are involved.

Cooper for Shackleton is the only change to the XI from the Ajax game.

Leeds United v Villarreal: Meslier, Ayling, Cooper, Koch, Dallas, Struijk, Klich, Raphinha, Harrison, Rodrigo, Bamford. Subs: Klaesson, Drameh, McCarron, Roberts, Phillips, Costa, Greenwood.

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Thank you Laura Collins