Leeds United head into Thursday evening’s Premier League meeting with Leicester City in something of a poor run of form, with Jesse Marsch’s side having failed to pick up a win over their last six outings in the top flight.
Having said that, the Whites’ performance in the 1-0 defeat to Arsenal last weekend will provide the manager with confidence that his side could get back to winning ways this time around – especially against an underperforming 20th-placed Foxes side.
And, with both Johnny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu looking set to miss the visit of Leeds due to injury, coupled with Leicester having already shipped a league-high 24 goals over their ten league fixtures in 2022/23, Thursday night would very much appear the perfect time for Marsch to finally unleash Patrick Bamford from the off.
Indeed, despite missing a penalty in the defeat to the Gunners, the 29-year-old actually proved something of a game-changer for the Whites upon his introduction to the game at half-time, with the striker taking three shots at goal – the most of any Leeds player in the match – and was extremely unlucky to see a goal ruled out for an apparent foul on Gabriel Magalhaes.
Following his impactful display, former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman was full of praise for the England international, stating on the Seaman Says podcast: “As soon as he came on they looked totally different. Obviously they’ve missed him a lot when you look at the difference when he came on like that.
“He’s one of those guys that looks like a nice quiet guy but he’s a bit like Dennis Bergkamp – everyone thought he was Mr. Nice Guy but on the pitch, they can look after themselves. Dennis was the same, he’d stick his elbow in and make the defenders cry and that’s what Bamford does.
“Bamford can look after himself and put himself about but he’s got this image of Mr. Nice Guy. Leeds have missed him a lot.
“He’s had a lot of injuries and needs a run of games to steady Leeds because they’re there or thereabouts in that relegation zone. Leeds need to get some results together just to steady the ship and hopefully he’s going to have a run of games now that keeps him in the team.”
Furthermore, the striker more than proved over his 38 Premier League appearances back in 2020/21 that he is capable of finding the back of the net on a regular basis, with the £5.5m-rated talent bagging 17 goals, as well as registering a further seven assists, creating five big chances for his teammates and taking an average of 2.8 shots – 1.3 of which hit the target – per game.
As such, considering just how lively he looked against Arsenal, coupled with the Foxes’ injuries at centre-back and general poor form so far this season, Marsch must finally unleash the £35k-per-week attacker from the off on Thursday night, as it would very much appear the perfect fixture for Bamford to get his season up and running.