Leeds United have been dealt a late setback ahead of their Premier League meeting with Watford this afternoon.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s 3pm kick-off (via Yorkshire Evening Post), Roy Hodgson revealed that both Nicolas Nkoulou and Kwadwo Baah have returned from injury, leaving the 74-year-old with a fully-fit squad to pick from ahead of Leeds’ trip to Vicarage Road.
Regarding the current state of his squad, Hodgson said: “Basically, we have a fully fit squad.
“It’s quite incredible the work the doctors and the physios have done here this late in the season to present each day a list of players all of them ready and able to train. So I congratulate them and it does mean that we don’t have anything to think about in that respect.”
Considering the sheer number of injuries with which Jesse Marsch has had to contend since his arrival at Elland Road back in March, the news that Watford have a fully-fit squad for the relegation six-pointer this afternoon is sure to have left the 48-year-old Leeds manager gutted.
Indeed, while the return of Joe Gelhardt will have come as a huge boost to the American and his side, the fact nevertheless remains that Leeds are having to make do without a number of their first-team regulars at Vicarage Road – with Tyler Roberts, Junior Firpo, Patrick Bamford and Jamie Shackleton all sidelined.
Furthermore, the return of long-term absentee Nkoulou and the highly-rated Germany under-19 international Baah will not only provide the Hornets with a boost for their meeting with the Whites this weekend, but also over the remainder of the season. Considering that there are just eight points separating Watford and Leeds prior to kick-off today, that could give Hodgson’s side the edge in the race for survival, especially if the hosts win at Vicarage Road this afternoon.
As such, it is clear to see that Watford’s clean bill of health is certainly bad news for Leeds, duly making the three points on offer this afternoon all the more important to secure.