The fixtures come thick and fast in December, and Leeds United will be pleased that they face a damaged Newcastle squad only five days after their 2-1 defeat to West Ham at Elland Road. Phil Hay has provided an injury update for supporters after hearing from Marcelo Bielsa.
The latest on Leeds
Hay tweeted from Bielsa’s pre-match press conference: “No new injury updates from Bielsa’s latest presser. He did say he’s going to refrain from naming his full team in public from now on, not because he thinks it’s wrong but because it became a talking point last week.”
Llorente still out
The bad news though is the fact that three of these injuries are to defenders, and with Leeds conceding the joint-second most goals in the division, no ‘new’ updates means no new additions, namely Diego Llorente, to the back four that struggled against West Ham.
Due to these injuries, the manager had to move Luke Ayling from the right-back position to centre-back against the Hammers. He actually picked up the best rating on the pitch (8.0), but the gaps in the defence were there for all to see and the Hammers really should have bagged more.
Ayling has also been a vital asset for the attacking game plan, and last month, the defender was in the top three Premier League defenders with the most passes into the final third this season.
So, Llorente in particular still being out is a big blow. Robin Koch is out long term, but Llorente is the one fans must be praying will return sooner rather than later.
Guillem Balague praised Llorente for his athleticism and ball-playing ability, calling him a ‘top player’ and saying he is ‘fantastic with long passing’, and the fact that he not only is he missing but that his absence will likely force Ayling into unfamiliar territory again, is a big loss for Bielsa.
In other Leeds news one star has been praised by legend Deco, have a read who it is here!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience