Marcelo Bielsa has told his pre-Stoke City press conference – as quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post – that he is to make two changes to his Leeds United starting line-up, due to injury – meaning five first-teamers could now miss Saturday’s clash.
Leeds earned a third win in four league games on Wednesday night thanks to Eddie Nketiah’s tap-in. it was the Arsenal loanee’s second goal in two appearances for the Whites, but Nketiah is to miss out again – in favour of Patrick Bamford.
That is because Bielsa confirmed he would make just two changes to his side to face Nathan Jones’ struggling Stoke, who sit at the bottom of the Championship table following a 3-1 loss to Preston North End.
Bielsa suggested that both Liam Cooper and Stuart Dallas would be replaced by Gaetano Berardi and Jamie Shackleton, but later claimed that they could both return in time. he also gave an update on Barry Douglas, while Luke Ayling and Tyler Roberts remain on the sidelines.
“Berardi in for Cooper. Shackleton in for Dallas,” Bielsa said, before giving more on Cooper and Dallas: “Dallas and Cooper rested today. To try and recover. Liam has a kick in the ankle. Dallas has a muscle problem. But hopefully they will play.”
On Douglas: “We’re thinking he can play in the cup match. We’ll know more after the weekend.”
TBR’s view – Leeds need Cooper fit, Dallas in top form but not as crucial
Keeping the captain fit is absolutely pivotal. Cooper has become a lion at the heart of the Leeds defence, and the Whites need him to be playing every match this season if they are to maintain their excellent form.
Dallas has arguably been one of the club’s best performers in 2019, and they need him to be on fire, too. But the Northern Ireland international is not s crucial, given that the Whites have depth in that position.