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Leeds must unleash Patrick Bamford against Aston Villa

Leeds United are not in action in the Premier League this weekend after their clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford was postponed.

This means that Jesse Marsch’s team does not have a competitive match until they face Aston Villa at Elland Road on the 2nd of October, with their last outing against Brentford on the 3rd of September.

The Whites will head into their clash with the Villans after almost a month away from top-flight action and, whilst it could affect the match fitness of players, it gives the manager plenty of time to plot a way out of the current poor run of form.

Leeds have lost two of their last three Premier League matches, drawing the other one, and conceded seven goals in those clashes, against Brighton, Everton, and Brentford.

One player who may or may not be available to feature against Villa is centre-forward Rodrigo after he suffered a shoulder injury at the end of August in the draw with the Toffees.

The Spaniard enjoyed a phenomenal start to the campaign as he scored four goals and provided one assist in five top-flight appearances, prior to being hit with a knock.

After the blow, Marsch provided an update on his situation as he said: “That means that it doesn’t need surgery and that hopefully in three to four weeks it can calm down. Maybe it takes a little bit longer, maybe it’s a little bit shorter.”

If the former Valencia star is unavailable for the meeting with Villa, then Marsch must unleash striker Patrick Bamford, who has 164 goals and assists in his club career, from the start to fill the gap that his teammate would be leaving in the team.

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The Englishman has had a rough time over the past year or so as he has struggled with injury issues. He was hit with three separate problems last term as he missed 30 games in all competitions, which restricted him to seven starts in the Premier League – scoring two and assisting two in that time.

Bamford started this season whilst attempting to get back to full fitness and has only started two matches so far. This led to Marsch sending him to the U21s to play in a game against Southampton earlier this week and he caught the eye as he secured a hat-trick in 53 minutes.

His performance could be enough to spark Leeds’ “goal machine” – as he was once dubbed by Sam McGuire – back into life. The forward, who was previously lauded as “exceptional” Jurgen Klopp, has proven in the past that he has the quality to be a lethal striker in the Premier League, scoring 17 goals in 37 starts in the 2020/21 campaign.

Therefore, he could be the man to lead the line in place of Rodrigo after the international break. Marsch must give him the opportunity to prove that his heroics for the U21s can give him a boost in the top-flight and bring out the best of him once again.