Leeds United will face their next Premier League test on Friday when they play host to West Ham at Elland Road. The Whites were dealt a tough defeat on the road last time out as Chelsea’s attack proved too much for their backline in a 3-1 win for the Blues.
In a recent injury blow for Marcelo Bielsa, Robin Koch has been confirmed to require surgery on his knee, which will rule him out for potentially several weeks. This opens the door for fellow summer signing Diego Llorente to show the manager what he’s made of as he fills in for the injured German.
An injury update from the Irons could also be a boost for Llorente, as football.london report that Michail Antonio is likely to miss the clash in Yorkshire.
Antonio has been in fine form this season, scoring three goals in seven appearances for the east London outfit so far (via Transfermarkt). He is currently out with a thigh injury and the Hammers have struggled in his absence.
Indeed, Harry Redknapp recently lauded the 30-year-old striker as “frightening” and a “threat” to any defence he comes up against.
At the moment, there’s just three points between them and Leeds, so a win for either team will be crucial on Friday. The Whites will hope that the return of Kalvin Phillips will make the difference and Llorente can fill Koch’s boots.
With Antonio expected to miss out, it could be a saving grace for the £22,000 per week Leeds defender, who will need a boost in confidence after only making his debut last weekend. If he can contribute to a clean sheet and help his new team get the win, he could throw his hat into the ring for contention to be Liam Cooper’s permanent centre-back partner for the rest of the season.