Marcelo Bielsa has confirmed the return from injury of three of Leeds’ best players, but what does it mean for the rest of the team on Saturday?
Leeds had a terrific start to the season, thanks in no small part to the dominance of Gaetano Berardi, the clinical finishing of Kemar Roofe, and most of all the sheer and utter genius of Pablo Hernandez.
The trio are all set for returns this weekend, and the presence of Hernandez will have the biggest impact by far.
The creativity in the team has dipped since the veteran Spaniard picked up an injury, and there’s a reason he is a fan favourite at Elland Road.
The 33-year-old has scored three times and added two assists in five Championship appearances this season, and Bielsa has confirmed he is available for selection at Blackburn.
The Whites travel to Ewood Park in the early Saturday fixture knowing three points will put them top of the league, so how will Bielsa shuffle the troops?
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The returning trio aren’t the only key players to struggle with injuries this season, as summer signing Barry Douglas is now out with a muscle problem. Stuart Dallas filled in at left back for the draw against Brentford, but Alioski was superb when he slotted into that spot towards the end of the match.
Alioski has taken some flak this season for his lack of end product, but there isn’t a player in the team that works harder than the Macedonian international, and his excellent crossing could fill the creative void left by Douglas’ injury. Could he fill in at left back on Saturday?
Harrison himself has picked up an injury, ruling him out of Saturday’s match. However, it’s hard to see the youngster ever getting his spot back if Hernandez stays fit.
The 21-year-old has looked good during his loan stay from Manchester City, but he simply doesn’t influence the match in the same way that Hernandez does, and he certainly won’t replace Samuel Saiz, an integral cog in the Bielsa system.
So, Leeds fans, how do you think Bielsa will line up on Saturday? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…