Arsenal handed boost with Leeds down to just 11 senior players ahead of clash, including 2 goalkeepers
Leeds United in trouble
Leeds United are in serious trouble.
Battered 7-0 by Manchester City on Tuesday, they now sit five points clear of the relegation zone, but three of the four sides below them have games in hand, while Burnley, five points adrift, have two.
Truth be told, they were simply not at the races against Pep Guardiola’s side, with the difference in class staggering from a side who went toe-to-toe with the top sides last season.
This campaign has brought Leeds fans firmly back down to earth, although they have been hurt by seemingly never-ending injuries that have seen them miss their best players for chunks of the campaign.
🎙 Post match reaction from Marcelo Bielsa pic.twitter.com/AZaTLWI1jx
— Leeds United (@LUFC) December 14, 2021
Next up, they face an Arsenal side that brushed fellow European hopefuls West Ham aside on Wednesday night, courtesy of a 2-0 scoreline. Flying high already, the Gunners have been handed a further boost as Marcelo Bielsa unveiled his team news ahead of the clash.
Just 11 senior players available
While Covid has not yet hit Leeds United, as it has other sides, injuries definitely have. Speaking ahead of the game, Bielsa revealed that both Dan James and Jamie Shackleton picked up knocks at the Etihad, while Junior Firpo will miss out due to suspension.
However, Robin Koch is set to return at centre-back after a spell on the sidelines.
Bielsa speaking at his pre-Arsenal presser. Injuries the first topic – Dan James and Jamie Shackleton are out this weekend. Robin Koch available though. No other changes to the absentee list. Firpo serving a one-match ban. #lufc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) December 16, 2021
This leaves Leeds with a lengthly injury list, with the Yorkshire side currently missing:
- Patrick Bamford
- Kalvin Phillips
- Dan James
- Jamie Shackleton
- Pascal Struijk
- Liam Cooper
While as mentioned, Firpo is suspended.
This leaves Bielsa with just 11 senior players to call upon, two of which are goalkeepers, meaning that we may see a great deal of youth involvement at Elland Road.