Raphinha is expected to play for Leeds United in their crucial Premier League clash with Norwich City, according to journalist Phil Hay.
The Lowdown: Must-win game for Leeds
The Whites face a vital league game on Sunday afternoon, making the trip to Carrow Road to face the bottom-of-the-table Canaries.
Following Saturday’s results, Leeds also find themselves in the bottom three, with the pressure really building on Marcelo Bielsa and his players.
Only a win will do against Daniel Farke’s side – a defeat would feel disastrous – and the hope is that last weekend’s late draw at home to Wolves acts as some sort of catalyst.
The Latest: Hay gives early team news
Speaking in a Q&A for The Athletic on Sunday morning, Hay said he expects to see Raphinha take to the field, as well as Kalvin Phillips and Pascal Sttuijk, giving the following team news update ahead of today’s match:
“There’s no Bamford again today and no Ayling either but Raphinha should be involved and Phillips is fine after his outing at Arsenal.
“We’ll probably be looking at a back three because Norwich have started using two up front so no surprise if Pascal Struijk comes into the team.”
The Verdict: Raphina’s inclusion would be a boost for Leeds
Leeds haven’t made the greatest start to the season but Raphinha has been their biggest ray of light. Their top scorer with three goals, he is also by far their best performer of the campaign according to WhoScored‘s metrics, averaging a 7.25 match rating.
His international form also sums up why he is probably the Whites’ best player right now. The 24-year-old has scored two goals and set up two more in his first three caps for Brazil and he needs to take that form with him to Carrow Road today.
Without him against Southampton two weeks ago, the Whites fell to a meek 1-0 defeat, and there may have been concerns about his involvement today after he limped off with an ankle injury against Wolves last time out.
His ability to beat a player and create havoc will make him a key figure for Leeds, especially up against a defence which has conceded 23 times already in the league in 2021/22, and his inclusion today would be a real boost for Bielsa.
In other news, one Leeds United hero has been tipped to join one of the Premier League heavyweights. Find out who it is here.
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