Jesse Marsch is expected to ring the changes as Leeds United welcome Norwich City to Elland Road this afternoon…
That’s according to The Athletic’s Phil Hay, who delivered a fresh claim ahead of kick-off. He believes that Rodrigo’s place is under threat after an abject display against Aston Villa in midweek.
The ever-reliable reporter also provided updates on the Whites’ injury situation, and it isn’t good news.
“There’s no Junior Firpo today. He’s going to be out for a little while with this knee injury by the sounds of things,” he said.
“Kalvin Phillips and Liam Cooper aren’t expected to feature either but I think we’ll see changes to the line-up.
“Rodrigo’s place must be under threat and Jesse Marsch has the option of using Joe Gelhardt up front. It might be that he’s still not quite ready to start Patrick Bamford – although that can’t be far away now.”
This is certainly a must-win for the Yorkshiremen.
As things stand, Leeds are only two points above the drop zone and six points ahead of today’s opposition, who occupy the bottom spot.
A victory for Dean Smith’s men would halve the gap heading into the final nine games of the season and thus, it would increase the pressure on Marsch substantially.
In what is a crucial six-pointer at Elland Road, something must be done to stop the rot of six successive defeats and altering the starting XI is certainly a positive move, especially in axing the struggling Spaniard.
Whilst Patrick Bamford may not be ready for a start, he is undoubtedly a better option to lead the line, whilst young Joe Gelhardt surely is too as both are natural strikers.
It would be a bold call from the American coach but one that would please much of the Whites’ faithful as every time Joffy enters the fray, there’s a roar from all around Elland Road – not just that, he has proven his credentials at this level, as seen by his impressive goal against Chelsea earlier in the season.
That said, if Bamford is fit enough to feature, then that would also be encouraging.
Phillips and Cooper are still expected to miss out but changes to Thursday’s lineup should provide some hope to supporters today.