Phil Hay has reported that Leeds United will be without both Robin Koch and Diego Llorente on Friday when they host West Ham at Elland Road. The former is confirmed to need surgery on his knee and will be out for up to three months, whilst his expected replacement is also injured with a muscle problem.
Whilst this is a huge blow for the Whites, their manager may have just dunked them into even hotter water.
In his latest press conference, Marcelo Bielsa was asked about his centre-back options, to which he responded with his full planned line-up.
The Argentinian is known for revealing his team plans ahead of upcoming fixtures, but it’s a habit he simply must snap out of. Bielsa was famous for doing this during his time in the Championship, but Leeds were so dominant that they were confident enough to counteract any plans the opposition had for them.
However, as they have already realised, the Premier League is more demanding a lot more unpredictable and is a completely different ball game, making moves like this even more risky. The Whites recently suffered back-to-back 4-1 defeats to Leicester and Crystal Palace, which only further highlights how ruthless England’s top flight can be.
Leeds are currently 14th in the table and have won just one of their last five games. It’s important that they restore their winning form and give themselves the best chance of surviving a drop back down to the Championship. However, this will not be an easy target to meet if Bielsa continues to give his rivals insight into his match day plans.
With Michail Antonio out of action, David Moyes will need to change up his tactics. But the added boost of knowing Bielsa’s plans could hand West Ham the win on Friday.
In other news, Alfie McCalmont could be coming for Mateusz Klich…