Raphinha looks unlikely to be available for Leeds United’s clash upcoming Premier League with Southampton, due to international duty with Brazil.
The Lowdown: Saints clash approaches
The Whites picked up their first league victory of the season last weekend, winning 1-0 at home to Watford, thanks to Diego Llorente’s goal.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side travel to the south coast a week on Saturday, but it looks as though they could have to make do without their influential winger.
The Latest: Raphinha likely to miss out
Brazil players will have to quarantine upon their return, and with the Selecao playing Uruguay on the Friday morning before the Saints clash, Raphinha could be unable to take part.
Speaking to Football Insider, injury expert Ben Dinnery explained why the 24-year-old is highly unlikely to be available:
“It’s going to be a mission for those players. Brazil play Uruguay on 15 October at 01.30 am on the Friday. Leeds then play away at St. Mary’s at 3.00 pm the following day.
“That means that Raphinha has less then 36 hours to recover. He will have no pre-match preparation and he’ll probably be fatigued.
“Also, you have a flight back through different time zones and climates. Quarantine protocol could delay that return as well. I would certainly think it’s difficult to see how any of those Brazilian players can start at the weekend.
“It’s one to watch in terms of how many minutes he gets. If there is an agreement in place with the federations, that could change.
“But as it stands, it’s very, very difficult to see him back for that match.”
The Verdict: Big setback for Leeds
Raphinha has been magnificent for Leeds since arriving from Rennes last year, wreaking havoc on the flanks and chipping in with nine goals and assists apiece, also being hailed as ‘wonderful’ by Danny Murphy.
In the Brazilian’s expected absence, Dan James and Jack Harrison will need to step up in wide areas, helping the Whites pick up a second successive league win in the process, but it will certainly be more difficult without their star man.
In other news, Noel Whelan has heaped praise on one Leeds player. Find out who it is here.
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