Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa has confirmed that Stuart Dallas will be part of the Whites’ squad for their game against Liverpool this afternoon.
The Lowdown: Dallas not in recent Northern Ireland squad
Dallas is a pivotal part of the Leeds squad, with the Northern Irishman playing in every single Premier League game last season, scoring eight goals and providing two assists upon the Whites’ return to the top flight.
He has played every minute of the current season for his club, registering an assist in the opening day defeat to Manchester United as he continues to provide the goods for Bielsa’s side.
However, over the recent international break, the 30-year-old missed Northern Ireland’s World Cup qualifying win in Lithuania due to ‘personal reasons‘ and the winger remained at home, withdrawing from Ian Baraclough’s squad.
The Latest: Dallas back in Leeds squad for Reds visit
As per Leeds Live, Bielsa ‘confirmed that Stuart Dallas would be part of the 20-man squad’ ahead of the Whites’ Premier League clash with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool at Elland Road this afternoon.
With the specific reasons behind his exclusion from Baraclough’s squad over the international break not publicised, Dallas seems to have managed the situation well and is set to be involved in today’s fixture.
Raphinha can also feature after the threat from the Brazilian FA was waved and the Brazilian will join his national team-mates Alisson and Fabinho in participating. Leeds duo Junior Firpo and Mateus Klich could also return after overcoming recent viral infections.
The Verdict: Good news for Bielsa
Dallas’ importance to the Leeds squad has been perfectly summed up by former Leeds Player of the Year Jermaine Beckford, who labelled the Northern Ireland international ‘the linchpin’ in Bielsa’s side – not surprising considering his very impressive 2020/21 goal tally for a defensive player.
His match average of 1.3 interceptions this season is the fourth-highest in the squad, indicating that the 30-year-old also carried out his defensive work diligently in addition to providing a clear attacking threat.
Having all his best players available against Liverpool will please the manager, with Leeds giving the Reds two good games last season, including last season’s thrilling 4-3 defeat in the season opener at Anfield a year ago today and a 1-1 draw at Elland Road in this fixture in April.
Whether Dallas starts after his absence for his nation is yet to be revealed, but Leeds fans will surely be pleased to at least see his name mentioned on the squad list, raising the firm possibility that he will be in action this afternoon.
In other news, Leeds remain interested in this summer transfer target
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