The Chalkboard: Bamford and Roofe must start for Leeds if playoff final is against Villa

Leeds will be headed into the playoff final second leg against Derby without Kemar Roofe after it was revealed a calf problem will cause him to miss the game.

If he is able to return for the final at Wembley he must start, but that isn’t to say Patrick Bamford shouldn’t as well.

Roofe would’ve played

Despite Bamford’s impeccable minutes-to-goals ratio in the Championship this season, Roofe would have been set to retain his starting spot in Wednesday’s game at Elland Road.

The 26-year-old netted in the first leg of the tie, taking his record against Derby County this season to four goals in three games.

Leeds’ top scorer seems to have the Rams’ number this season but injury has seen him ruled out of the second leg, although Bielsa didn’t rule him out of the final.

Start them both in the final

Playoffs often come down to who wants it more, and Bamford has the motivation to get one over the Whites’ potential final opponents Aston Villa.

The former Middlesbrough man was banned for two games after an altercation between Leeds and Villa players, and there may be no better team for Bamford to start against.

Although if Roofe is back from injury he can also be utilised as a number 10, and with Tyler Roberts also out injured there is a spot to fill as an attacking midfielder.

During his last appearance as an attacking midfielder the striker picked up an injury that would see him miss almost six weeks of action, but during Leeds’ 2-1 win against Swansea, the former West Brom man looked like he was enjoying playing in that position.

Bielsa has a great chance to take advantage of Bamford’s extra incentive against Aston Villa whilst not losing Roofe’s influence on the pitch.

It is unknown whether or not Leeds’ number seven will be back for the final but if he is both men should start, with Roofe playing behind Bamford as he did earlier in the season.

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