Leeds United confirm status of key pair Bamford and Phillips for Southampton clash
Leeds United experience tricky start to the season
After last season’s euphoria, conquering the Premier League this season has proved an altogether more difficult task for Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds United.
# ! pic.twitter.com/8RRGLKBhad
— Leeds United (@LUFC) October 2, 2021
The Yorkshire outfit recorded their first win of the season in matchday 7, in a 1-0 win over Watford that saw the Hornets subsequently part ways with Xisco Munoz. For Leeds too, it proved momentous, with the club having drawn three and lost three of their previous 6.
Now, they face Southampton, who are one of four sides in the division yet to win a game, in a clash that would see the winner potentially leap at least three points clear of the relegation zone. For Leeds, it feels like an early-season must-win game if they are to gain any momentum between now and the next international break.
Team news a mixed bag
Ahead of the clash with Southampton, Marcelo Bielsa provided an update on star duo Patrick Bamford and Kalvin Phillips, and it is mixed news for the Leeds faithful.
On Bamford, Bielsa revealed that the forward will miss the encounter due to an ankle injury sustained before the international break.
However, the news was more positive for Phillips, who withdrew from the England squad but has a chance to be fit for the trip to St Mary’s on Saturay afternoon.
Bielsa speaking at his pre-Southampton presser.
Bamford is out of Saturday’s game with his ankle injury. Phillips (calf) has a chance of being fit for it. #lufc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) October 14, 2021
There was similarly worrying news for star man Raphinha, who is due to represent Brazil in the early hours of Friday morning. Bielsa revealed that:
“There’s no doubt that it’s a short turnaround. The option he has to participate on Saturday depends on whether he plays this final game (for Brazil), how many minutes he plays, how he finishes the game and how efficient his rest is.”
“Considering that a third of those hours ( before Southampton) he will spend flying, if there’s any risk that the fatigue could cause injuries then we won’t risk it. There are so many aspects to consider that I can’t offer any certainties.”
[Quotes from Phil Hay]
Should Leeds be without all three key men, can they still turn out a much-needed result to give them back to back wins?