Leeds United will open up this weekend’s fixtures by hosting West Ham at Elland Road this evening. The Whites are currently 14th in the Premier League table and will be hoping to bounce back from their recent 3-1 loss to Chelsea.
Despite Patrick Bamford’s opening goal, Leeds were unable to hang onto their lead and suffered the wrath of Frank Lampard’s clinical attack. Marcelo Bielsa is also suffering with several injury problems and he will be without both Robin Koch and Diego Llorente tonight.
In his latest press conference, the manager revealed his entire planned starting lineup, which may come back to bite him once his team are under the lights.
Bielsa had stated that will start Rodrigo as part of his attack that will look to wound West Ham at Elland Road. However, this is an odd decision from the boss.
The £120,000 per week summer signing hasn’t started for Leeds since October, which was only his third start of the Premier League season. So far, he has just one goal contribution to his name, which came in the Whites’ 1-1 draw against Manchester City, via Transfermarkt.
But he cannot ride on this achievement for the rest of the season. Since his goal against the Cityzens, Rodrigo hasn’t contributed to his new club’s attack.
Even despite Phil Hay’s praise of the mega-money signing, he told fans on his The Athletic podcast (via This is Futbol):
“He looks like a class act, and I think looks better and better value at £27m every time he plays; he could be a huge player over the next two or three years.”
West Ham will be without Michail Antonio which weakens their attacking threat. Bielsa must capitalise on this and deploy their strongest players to hit them on the counter – but judging from recent performances, the Spaniard is not part of this group yet.
Star striker Patrick Bamford needs creative support and starting a man with just one goal contribution in nine matches is a questionable decision from Bielsa.
In other news, Radrizzani must not waste money on signing Gyrano Kerk…