Leeds United’s captain Liam Cooper could be back for the clash against Cardiff City on Saturday afternoon if Marcelo Bielsa is satisfied he is ‘100%’, according to the BBC.
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Cooper has been out since suffering a calf strain in the 4-0 win over Middlesbrough a few weeks ago and missed the clashes against Huddersfield Town and Hull City.
The side will be going into the game against the Bluebirds looking for their eighth win on the trot, which would leave the Whites one-shy of the club’s record of nine consecutive league wins (via LUFC Data).
Whether the £5.4m-rated, as per Transfermarkt, Cooper is out or not, it doesn’t seem to make a difference for a side, who have the Championship’s best defence this campaign.
Leeds have conceded just 10 goals in their 21 games so far this season, and in games Cooper hasn’t featured in, they have proven to be just as strong.
In the six games the club captain has missed, Leeds have conceded just three goals, winning four games whilst keeping clean sheets in them as well (via Transfermarkt).
And it’s not like Leeds are incredibly reliant on their skipper when it comes to defending, especially when you look at the defensive statistics.
Looking at the stats on WhoScored, Adam Forshaw, Ben White, Luke Ayling and Gaetano Berardi all feature in the top three among the eight defensive categories, showing how duties are shared among the back-line.
While Cooper may be captain, he is not the only solid defender among Bielsa’s options. Given the side have proved to be a defensive juggernaut no matter who plays at the back, a win should be a possibility even without their captain available.
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