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Leeds’s only change for Derby should involve Helder Costa, not Eddie Nketiah

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Leeds United

Leeds’s only change for Derby should involve Helder Costa, not Eddie Nketiah

With Eddie Nketiah proving to be Leeds United’s hero once again at the weekend, it is probably becoming more and more difficult for Marcelo Bielsa to ignore the calls for the striker to start.

Nketiah is still awaiting his first league start since arriving at Elland Road. But he is definitely pushing Patrick Bamford. The Arsenal loanee now has four goals in six appearances in all competitions.

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And with Bamford enduring a frustrating afternoon at Oakwell last Sunday, some may be hoping that Bielsa considers a change for Derby’s visit this weekend.

But if there is a change to be made to the starting lineup, it should arguably involve another two players in the Leeds squad rather than Nketiah and Bamford.

Nketiah is proving to be a fantastic substitute option for the Whites. His time to start games is clearly coming soon, but Bamford is also performing superbly this term. Even at Barnsley, where he had a difficult task, he was excellent.

It makes sense therefore, for Bielsa to stick with Bamford in his starting lineup against the Rams.

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Instead, the change that he should arguably consider involves Jack Harrison and Helder Costa. Harrison came off for the Portuguese at the weekend after a quiet afternoon.


It was Costa who won the free-kick that allowed Nketiah to break the deadlock. He looked lively throughout the second-half, and has that piece of brilliance up his sleeve that Leeds could need if Derby come to frustrate the Whites.

Unlike Nketiah, he is vying for a place with a player who could arguably do with a break. Harrison was sensational in pre-season, and appears to have made a significant improvement.

But it looks as though he may benefit from being taken out of the firing line for one game. The calls for Costa to start are only adding to the pressure on the Manchester City loanee.

It would not be a huge surprise if Bielsa names the same starting lineup against Derby. But if he considers one change, it should perhaps be Costa who gets to end his wait for a league start, rather than Nketiah.

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