Leeds: Patrick Bamford backed to start vs Chelsea
Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford is likely to start his side’s Premier League clash with Chelsea, according to reliable journalist Phil Hay.
The Lowdown: Big game for Leeds
The Whites are back in action this weekend and they make the trip to historical rivals Chelsea for a meeting between two struggling sides.
Leeds continue to battle relegation, although last weekend’s 1-0 win over Southampton was huge, while the Blues are languishing in mid-table under Graham Potter.
It is a massive afternoon for both sides and Whites boss Javi Gracia has a key decision to make when it comes to naming his starting lineup at Stamford Bridge.
The Latest: Bamford backed to start
Writing in Q&A for The Athletic on Saturday morning, Hay said he believes Bamford will get the nod in attack:
“I reckon he’ll probably start with Bamford. We were saying on the poddy that it’s a big one to throw Rutter into – but then again he is a £30m player so it’s not asking that much. I just feel, like you say, that Bamford is more effective from the start.”
The Verdict: Better performance required
Bamford has really struggled to return to his 2020/21 form since a string of injury problems – he scored 17 league goals that year – with his performances lacking a spark for a sustained period now.
In fact, the 29-year-old has netted just once in the league in 17 appearances this season, appearing to be a yard slower and simply not looking as confident in front of goal.
Starting the £70,000-a-week Bamford at Chelsea is, therefore, a risk, but the hope is that his experience shines through on the day and his hold-up play allows Leeds to be a threat on the counter-attack.
Recent signing Georginio Rutter could then be used as an impact substitute later in the game, taking advantage of tiring legs and replacing his older teammate in attack.