Liverpool v Leeds United team news: Liam Cooper misses Whites' Premier League return

PASCAL Struijk makes just his third league start with captain Liam Cooper injured and missing Leeds United's Premier League opener at Liverpool on Saturday evening.

Saturday, 12th September 2020, 5:03 pm

Cooper has been struggling with a calf issue picked up on international duty with Scotland and misses out completely after failing a fitness test meaning that 21-year-old Struijk partners new signing Robin Koch at centre-back.

Fellow new recruit and club record signing Rodrigo starts on the bench with Patrick Bamford again leading the line upfront and with Pablo Hernandez starting at no 10.

Helder Costa and Jack Harrison fill the wing slots with Mateusz Klich in centre midfield ahead of United's England international Kalvin Phillips in the midfield holding role.

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OPENER: Leeds United's players take to the pitch at Anfield. Photo by PAUL ELLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images.

Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas are at right back and left back respectively ahead of Illan Meslier in goal.

Midfielder Adam Forshaw remains absent as he continues his recovery from hip surgery while Barry Douglas fails to make the match-day 18.

As well as Rodrigo, the Whites bench features Oliver Casey, Gjanni Alioski, Ian Poveda, Jamie Shackleton, Tyler Roberts and 'keeper Kiko Casilla.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson returns from a knee injury to start in midfield for the Reds who line up with their usual front three of Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

Former Whites midfielder James Milner, who is awaiting his 150th Liverpool league appearance, is on the bench along with Fabinho.

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Keita, Salah, Firmino, Mane. Subs: Adrian, Fabinho, Milner, Jones, Minamino, Origi, Matip.

Leeds United: Meslier, Ayling, Koch, Struijk, Dallas, Phillips, Klich, Costa, Hernandez, Harrison, Bamford. Subs: Casilla, Casey, Alioski, Poveda, Shackleton, Roberts, Rodrigo.

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Thank you Laura Collins