That’s according to a report by Leeds Live, who claim that both Patrick Bamford and Liam Cooper look set to make a return to Jesse Marsch’s squad for the visit of the Tykes on Wednesday evening, with the duo appearing to have recovered from their respective adductor and Achilles injuries.
However, all three of Junior Firpo, Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas will once again be ruled out of contention for the cup clash, with Firpo and Ayling currently having an expected return date of September 3, while Dallas will is not likely to make a return to first-team football until the turn of the year.
Considering how important both Bamford and Cooper are within the Leeds side, Leeds Live’s claim that both players could get some minutes under their belt against Barnsley this evening is sure to be great news for Marsch.
Indeed, while injuries limited Bamford to just seven Premier League starts last season, the 28-year-old proved over his 38 league fixtures in 2020/21 just how crucial he is in the Whites’ attack, scoring 17 goals, registering seven assists and averaging a SofaScore match rating of 7.01 – ranking him as the club’s joint seventh-best performer that year.
Likewise, over Cooper’s 21 league fixtures in 2021/22, the 30-year-old was one of Leeds’ most important players, helping his side keep five clean sheets, as well as making an average of 2.0 tackles, 2.0 interceptions, 3.4 clearances and winning 6.4 duels – at a success rate of 64% – per fixture.
These returns saw the Scotland international average a SofaScore match rating of 6.99, ranking him as the Whites’ best performing outfielder last term – playing an all-important role in helping Leeds avoid relegation to the Championship on the final day of the season.
As such, while a Carabao Cup fixture against a League One side is not likely to be Leeds’ most important game of the season, it is nevertheless clear to see that the potential return of both players will come as a huge boost to Marsch – especially with a testing trip to Brighton & Hove Albion coming up for the Whites’ this weekend.