Saturday’s game sees home side Leeds United welcome visitors Reading to Elland Road in a match-up that pits the 2nd place Whites against their 15th place visitors from Royal Berkshire. Promotion hopefuls Leeds could be given a welcome boost with Royals boss Mark Bowen releasing details of his side’s injury list.
Per words carried by Berkshire Live (above), Bowen spoke to the gathered media today ahead of their weekend visit north to Elland Road to take on a Leeds United side scraping back lost form. Encouraging performances against Brentford (1-1) and Bristol City (1-0) were a welcome return for the Whites after disappointing losses against Nottingham Forest (0-2) and Wigan Athletic (0-1).
Reading are coming off the back of an impressive 3-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. That was their first victory in eight games but the odds might be stacked against them somewhat at Elland road come Saturday in a game where another vociferous, sell-out crowd is expected to cheer Marcelo Bielsa’s boys on.
Bowen admitted earlier that a glut of five games in the next fortnight was going to present issues to him as to how best manage his players. This is something that he expanded on in today’s presser when detailing his injury woes and players that he has at his disposal. Players in his thoughts for Saturday’s game include Pele and Jordan Obita – the former having come through light training yesterday to feature in his manager’s plans.
One player that Bowen thinks “might miss out” is Ayub Masika, the winger having suffered a stomach upset for the last couple of days not likely to be risked. The boost for Leeds United, and their fans, could come from a quartet of players definitely not featuring at Elland Road.
On this foursome, Bowen said: “(Chris) Gunter, (Matt) Miazga, (Lucas) Joao, (Lucas) Boye are more long term. Miazga another 10 days but the others three or four weeks down the line.”
News that possibly SEVEN players could be absent for Reading at the weekend should be reason enough for Leeds United fans to gain some hope that their side’s job on Saturday is that little bit easier and that a positive result more likely incoming.