Marcelo Bielsa has suggested that he would prefer for his Leeds United side to come up against Jack Grealish this weekend amid doubts over the Aston Villa talisman’s fitness – in comments reported by Leeds Live.
Grealish is seemingly a doubt for Saturday’s clash at Elland Road. He missed the Villans’ defeat to Leicester with a leg injury.
Dean Smith suggested after the loss that it was not a serious issue (via Sky Sports). So there will be a lot of attention on whether the 25-year-old will be in the lineup this weekend.
Interestingly, Bielsa has hinted that he would be more disappointed if Grealish missed out as his presence may help bring the best out of the Whites.
“On one side he is a great player, a player who can unbalance,” he said, as reported by Leeds Live. “I always prefer the opponent has their best players available because even if that fortifies a team, the best players make their teams more scary, more difficult to face.
“They’re also a stimulus for us. To face such players who are playing so well, to neutralise them, looking to impose yourself on an opponent with their best players and not debilitated. Like I said before, they’re a team with players to cover any absences.”
Leeds will be hoping for a similar result to the last time the two teams met. Patrick Bamford’s outstanding second-half hat-trick gave Bielsa’s men a 3-0 win at Villa Park.
It was arguably one of their best performances since sealing promotion. And while Grealish threatened to score on a couple of occasions, he was ultimately unable to have a major impact on the game.
Bielsa will be reminding his players not to take Villa lightly if Grealish is missing. Smith’s men will be motivated by the previous scoreline and wanting to prove that they can win without their star player.