Marcelo Bielsa produced another engaging press conference yesterday ahead of the trip to Derby County. Frank Lampard, a glory of English football (according to Bielsa) awaits at Pride Park, as a do his new-look side, Jack Marriott, Harry Wilson and co. But no Matej Vydra. Leeds have some injury concerns, as well as a boost.

Pontus Jansson probably won’t start but is fit, Bielsa saying he’s catching up well with training after his holiday, the World Cup meant a late return for the Swede. Although he wasn’t missed last week as the side dismantled a stunned Stoke City, his return is very welcome. Jansson will need to be up to speed physically and tactically before he plays, Bolton may be that game on Tuesday, but he’s an option tomorrow, would I play him? Probably, but I’ll leave that for my “Preferred XI” tonight.

Stuart Dallas will be missing after picking up an injury. He won’t be out for long but the indication is he won’t play the next couple of games. The player has become invaluable to Marcelo Bielsa and his squad, the fact he can play in a variety of positions, three under Bielsa in four games, means his value has shot up. The Argentine has few options in certain areas and Dallas helps ease that situation for a host of areas, central midfield the biggest worry.

Patrick Bamford is another situation entirely. Man of the match last week Kemar Roofe will almost certainly keep his place, dropping him would be extremely harsh unless Bielsa plans on rotating the side as much as possible early on, it wouldn’t be the worst idea but Roofe will be itching to get back on the pitch tomorrow night. That’s a decision that Bielsa will have to take, whoever doesn’t start may well get some time in the Bolton game come Tuesday.

Jamie Shackleton (54) of Leeds United during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Oxford United and Leeds United at the Kassam Stadium, Oxford, England on 24 July 2018. Picture by Graham Hunt.

Adam Forshaw won’t be back for some time, he’s expected to be out for another six to eight weeks and the chances are a young central midfielder will now be on the bench tomorrow. Oriol Rey or possibly Conor Shaughnessy. Another player Bielsa likes is youngster Jamie Shackleton who can play a variety of roles on the pitch. Any of these names could find themselves involved.

About Author

Leave A Reply