Marcelo Bielsa has admitted, in comments reported by Leeds Live, that Liam Cooper is likely to be a doubt for Leeds United’s clash with Hull City on Tuesday after missing the Whites’ weekend win over Huddersfield Town.
With Kalvin Phillips already suspended for the trip to the John Smith’s Stadium, Leeds fans would have been forgiven for fearing the worst when it emerged that Cooper was also going to miss the game due to a calf strain.
Leeds did keep a clean sheet on their way to a 2-0 win. However, it was not a flawless defensive display from the Whites, and Kiko Casilla had to make two stunning saves to deny the home side.
And unfortunately for the Whites, Bielsa suggested after the victory that Cooper is set to also be a doubt for their next game this coming week.
“We don’t know,” he said, as reported by Leeds Live, when asked about the severity of the injury. “Today, it would have been a risk to play. I don’t think this situation is going to change on Tuesday. We are going to see which possibility he has for the next Saturday.”
Given how rarely Bielsa makes changes, his comments certainly hint that Gaetano Berardi will keep his place against Hull. In fairness, the 31-year-old was impressive during the second-half, seemingly winning every ball that came his way.
Leeds fans could not help but smile at the make up of the Whites’ defence on Saturday. Two wingers were deployed at full-back, while two full-backs were in the middle. The one centre-back in Leeds’s squad was used in Phillips’s role in holding midfield.
But Leeds did enough to get the three points without their captain. And they will be hoping for a repeat performance on Tuesday if he is indeed not ready to return.