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Leeds: Jesse Marsch dealt Liam Cooper fitness concern

Leeds United have been dealt a late fitness concern ahead of their Premier League meeting with Everton this evening.

What’s the latest?

That’s according to a report by BBC Sport, who claim that, after Liam Cooper picked up a minor calf injury when making his comeback from injury in the Whites’ 3-1 Carabao Cup victory over Barnsley last week – a knock that saw the centre-back miss the 1-0 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend – the defender is once again a doubt for the visit of Everton, with the 31-year-old due to undergo a ‘late fitness test’ to determine whether or not he will be able to feature this evening.

Meanwhile, all three of Junior Firpo, Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas remain sidelined due to their own respective knocks, however, centre-forward Patrick Bamford is close to making a return to first-team action after missing the Whites’ last two Premier League fixtures as a result of a groin injury picked up earlier this month.

Marsch would be gutted

While the potential return of Bamford is undoubtedly fantastic news for Marsch and his side, should Cooper once again be ruled out of action this evening, it would certainly be an outcome that will leave the 48-year-old manager gutted.

Indeed, the £6.3m-rated centre-back proved just how important he is within the Leeds side over his 21 Premier League appearances last season, helping his club keep five clean sheets, in addition to making an average of 2.0 interceptions, 2.0 tackles and 3.4 clearances per game – ranking him first, eighth and second in the Leeds squad for each respective metric.

More generally, these returns saw the £6.5k-per-week Scotland international average an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 6.99, ranking him as Marsch’s best performing outfielder in the Whites’ 2021/22 campaign – playing an influential role in helping his side retain their Premier League status.

As such, it is clear to see that, while Everton do not exactly look like a free-scoring side under the management of Frank Lampard – having found the back of the net just three times over their four Premier League fixtures this season – the potential absence of Cooper would nevertheless come as a huge blow to Leeds’ chances of securing all three points against the Toffees tonight.

Article title: Leeds: Jesse Marsch dealt Liam Cooper fitness concern

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