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Leeds must axe Raphinha against Crawley

Leeds have had a rather topsy-turvy festive period but they will get the opportunity to correct their 3-0 defeat to Spurs on Sunday afternoon.

It’s a test they should pass with flying colours too, especially when you consider they face Crawley.

On the chalkboard

No disrespect to their opposition but this is a tie which Leeds should comfortably win. The Whites have been playing swashbuckling football against some of England’s elite teams and will likely continue to do so this weekend.

That being said, they come into the game with a plethora of injury problems. Liam Cooper, Robin Koch and Diego Llorente are all out injured and thus, some weary legs at the heart of Leeds’ backline could get another run out.

However, further forward in attack they can afford to rest a few players. One of the prime candidates should be summer signing Raphinha. The Brazilian has been a lively player since signing and has four goal contributions.

Should Poveda play on Sunday?



No thanks

No thanks

Yet, against Spurs, he cut a “disconsolate” figure according to Leeds Live journalist Beren Cross and was anything but the energetic figure we’ve come to expect.

During their 3-0 defeat, Raphinha lost possession of the ball on 24 occasions, failing with four of the seven dribbles he attempted. On top of that, the tricky winger lost 12 duels.

This was not a good game for the 24-year-old.

The solution

This would be an ideal time to drop Raphinha to the bench and give Ian Poveda a very rare start on the right-hand side of the pitch.

The former Manchester City attacker signed last January but has only started once for Marcelo Bielsa’s side. That came in a penalty shoot-out defeat in the Carabao Cup against Hull earlier this term.

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Poveda has been restricted to nine substitute appearances in the Premier League and has had very little time to show the manager what he’s capable of.

However, against League Two opposition not only should he start, but he should also thrive and stake his claim for a regular berth in the top-flight.

This has been a busy festive schedule for everyone at Leeds and although they’ve had a week to prepare for this clash, Raphinha needs to drop out and an opportunity has to be given to somebody else.

Poveda is that man.

AND in other news, Forget De Paul: Orta must seal Leeds swoop for “revelation” who lost possession 28x…

Article title: Leeds must axe Raphinha against Crawley

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