Leeds United’s injury crisis appears to be easing as they return to Premier League action this evening…
Marcelo Bielsa has revealed that he has a trio of players back available for selection in wing sensation Raphinha, attacking midfielder Rodrigo and versatile young gem Jamie Shackleton in what will be a major boost to the squad.
“[Luke] Ayling will probably be able to play with the under-23s on Monday as he’s healthy now. [Jamie] Shackleton is also healthy. Raphinha and Rodrigo are also available. The ones who are finishing their period of recovery are [Robin] Koch and [Patrick] Bamford,” he told reporters (via LeedsLive).
Both Raphinha (illness) and Rodrigo (foot) were shock absentees last weekend as the Yorkshire giants were defeated by Tottenham Hotspur in north London, whilst the 22-year-old, who has been filling in at right-back for Ayling, had missed back-to-back league games through injury.
With United sat just one place outside of the relegation zone, this latest update will come as a huge source of encouragement, and it should leave Bielsa and the fanbase buzzing heading into kick-off.
If Leeds fail to pick up three points, then they could realistically be in the bottom three by the conclusion of the weekend, and that’s worrying considering they finished inside the top ten last season.
Bielsa has had to deal with numerous problems with each passing week, and with Ayling, Koch and Bamford all still absent, the fact that he can welcome back three players is certainly positive news.
The trio are likely to come straight back into the starting XI, with Stuart Dallas reverting to left-back over centre-back Pascal Struijk – another who’s been playing out of position to help deal with their injury woes – whilst Rodrigo and Raphinha should offer a lot more than those who deputised last weekend.
All in all, there should be some hope that Leeds can snatch something down at the Amex Stadium this evening.