Leeds United Fantasy Football Tips 2021/22 – Team Preview

Premier League Fantasy Football Tips 2021/22 for Leeds United by @CoysFPL.

In this team preview series, Dan previews all 20 Premier League teams ahead of the 2021/22 season including season expectations, expected lineups, best player picks, under the radar gems, and players to avoid.

Find all our other Premier League 2021/22 Team Previews here which will be continually updated as the season draws closer!

 

Leeds United 2021/22 Season Summary

You definitely wouldn’t have figured that Leeds were a promoted side by the way they coped with their first season back in the Premier League.

They were the most entertaining team in the league, comfortably securing a top half finish and only three points off a European spot.

It was in the final part of the season where they showed their best form. This was mainly due to their defensive transformation.

Over the final 12 Premier League games, Leeds had the joint second most points, conceding more than only one team.

On the other hand, the first twelve games saw them concede the second most goals with a points total that ranked 14th in the league.

They conceded 15 more goals in the first half of the season than the second. This was arguably down to both the long-awaited addition of Diego Llorente into the line-up after a lengthy injury, and a more reserved tactical switch by Marcelo Bielsa against better opposition.

This was no fluke either, given that Leeds conceded t2.0 more shots, 0.86 shots on target, 1.08 big chances and 0.53 xG more per game in the first half of the season than the second.

It was mainly due to their showings against the top six teams that their defensive record was so poor. Leeds conceded three or more against top six sides on four occasions in the first half of the season, compared to no times in the final half.

They also conceded 18 in their first five encounters against the top five sides. In comparison, they conceded only three against those sides in the final half of the season.

They also weren’t flukes: against top seven sides in the second half of the season, Leeds conceded 4.71 fewer shots in the box, 1.14 fewer shots on target, 2.15 fewer big chances and 1.03 fewer xG per game than in the first half of the season against the same opposition.

 

Leeds United 2021/22 Season Expectations

I believe Bielsa went into the season with an attitude that Leeds could go toe-to-toe with the top sides, but that left acres of space in their own half for the opposition to exploit.

Attacking wise, Leeds scored three or more on ten occasions, which is seriously impressive. Title winners Manchester City only did that three more times.

Leeds also scored the joint fourth most away goals, which I think will increase this season because of the re-addition of fans. Teams will go for it more which plays directly into Leeds‘ hands.

Meanwhile, Elland Road is quite a fortress, and if any team missed fans the most, you could make an argument that it was Leeds.

Now that Bielsa has found a formula that works against the top four sides, his side are a force to be reckoned with this season.

Don’t underestimate how much fans will spur them on. I think they are in contention for the top six, and anything out of the top eight would be seen as a failure. I wouldn’t say top four is out of the question either.

 

How To Play Fantasy Premier League 2021/22 | The Beginner’s Guide

 

Leeds United Expected Lineup

 

 

Illan Meslier will start as the first-choice keeper after an impressive debut Premier League campaign.

The back four is pretty much set in stone other than Pascal Strujik, who should be favoured to Liam Cooper and Robin Koch after a good finish to last season. However, that is the most uncertain spot in the side.

Kalvin Phillips, Stuart Dallas, Raphinha and Jack Harrison will undoubtedly start in the five man midfield, with Rodrigo likely to be favoured to Mateusz Klich and Patrick Roberts.

Patrick Bamford will continue to lead the line.

Leeds United Best Players

Raphinha

Scored six and assisted 10 after coming in as a late summer arrival. He provides excellent value, registering a goal involvement at a rate of less than 150 minutes.

Raphinha is also the main set-piece taker, and created the most chances per 90 minutes in the squad (2.4).

Only Rodrigo and Bamford had more than Raphinha’s 2.6 shots per 90 minutes, with 65% of those coming in the box. Seven Fantasy midfielders had more shots than that, and only six made more key passes per 90 minutes.

Three players in the league had a better xA record per 90 minutes than Raphinha, and five players made more assists per 90 minutes. He is definitely Leeds‘ most lively player and I only see his numbers increasing.

Patrick Bamford

The English striker racked up an impressive 17 goals and 11 assists. His goal involvement tally was only bettered by Bruno Fernandes and Harry Kane. Additionally, only four players had a higher xG record per 90 minutes.

Bamford is Leedspenalty taker, and had over 25% more shots per game than any other player in the Leeds squad. 80% of his shots came inside the box, only Mohammed Salah had more shots in the penalty area per game.

As I mentioned earlier, Leeds should develop even more this season so Bamford will naturally be on the end of more chances.

 

How To Win at Fantasy Premier League (FPL) – The Complete Guide

 

Leeds United Under the Radar Players:

Illan Meslier

He has become one of the best Fantasy options after Leeds‘ defensive transformation.

Interestingly, only three teams conceded a higher proportion of their shots from outside the box which means Meslier should be able to rack up some easy save points in a Fantasy game where save points are applied.

Only one keeper made more saves than Meslier’s 3.9 per game last season, and only four kept more clean sheets. Meslier also had the fourth best save percentage record, so it’s not too surprising he keeps a lot of clean sheets despite facing a lot of shots on target.

Junior Firpo

Former Barcelona left-back replaces Ezgjan Alioski having played less than 300 minutes in La Liga last season. Despite that, he still managed a goal and assist.

He played more minutes the previous season, playing just over 1000 minutes in La Liga, picking up a goal and two assists. However, it was only the 2018/19 season where he made his name at Real Betis and playing as a wing-back.

Firpo managed an impressive total of three goals and four assists in only 24 appearences. It is worth noting two things: the first is that he picks up a number of yellow cards. In the previous three seasons, he has been picking up a yellow card at a rate quicker than every three games.

The second point is that Bielsa seems to be patient with new signings, letting them adjust to his intense system and a new league. I’m not sure he’ll be able to do that with Firpo though, given the lack of other options at left-back and the fact he would have had a full pre-season under his belt.

Jack Harrison 

Scored eight and assisted ten in an impressive first season in the Premier League. That meant he was registering a goal inovlvement every 158 minutes, 11 minutes slower than Raphinha.

Harrison also had almost half less shots than Raphinha, with 1.4 every 90 minutes, but a higher percentage of his were in the penalty area. He created 1.9 key passes to Raphinha’s 2.4, so its fair to say Raphinha is a better option but not by much.

Stuart Dallas

Named Leeds‘ player of the year last season, Dallas featured in every single minute of the Premier League season, mainly as a box-to-box midfielder.

The Northern Irishman managed eight goals as well as three assists, with only Bamford scoring more in the Leeds squad.

That doesn’t quite tell the whole story however, given that 11 players in the Leeds squad had more shots in the penalty area per game.

It’s also worth noting that over 60% of Dallas‘ 1.3 shots per game were outside of the 18 yard box.

Surprisingly, Dallas only totalled an xG of 0.12 per 90 minutes (the ninth best in squad), but scored 0.21 per 90 minutes.

That means he scored almost double than what he’d be expected to based on his chances. Therefore, it seems quite unlikely he’ll beat his goalscoring tally this season.

His assist potential is also pretty low, given that 11 players in the Leeds squad made more key passes per 90 minutes last season.

I don’t think he’ll get a double figure goal involvement return this season, but at least he has the highly valuable asset of playing 90 minutes week in week out.

Rodrigo

Boasted the best underlying stats in the Leeds squad last season, making the most key passes and having the most shots per 90 minutes last season.

He also managed 0.49 goals per 90 minutes, as well as 0.14 assists. Rodrigo actually scored more goals from open play per 90 than Bamford, which made him the most likely goalscorer when on the pitch.

It’s fair to say he grew into the season, scoring four of his seven Premier League goals in the final four games.

I think that puts him in good stead for the next campaign and assuming no-one comes in, the attacking midfield spot looks to be his.

Fantasy Premier League 2021/22 Tips – Team Previews and Best Players

 

Leeds United Players to Avoid:

Kalvin Phillips will shield the defence but doesn’t offer anywhere near enough attacking threat to be a viable Fantasy option.

Pascal Strujik’s spot is most at risk in the expected line-up, so I wouldn’t go near him despite the appeal of Leeds‘ defence.

 

Find all our other Premier League 2021/22 Team Previews here which will be continually updated as the season draws closer!

Do you play or want to learn how to play Fantasy Premier League?

Our How to Play FPL Guide is a great place to get started whilst our Ultimate FPL 2021/22 Guide has everything you could ever need be a successful FPL manager.

We have all the other Premier League fantasy football games covered too…

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