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Leeds United: Phil Hay assesses Marcelo Bielsa’s defensive injury problems

Leeds United: Phil Hay assesses Marcelo Bielsa’s defensive injury problems -Leeds United News

The Athletic‘s Phil Hay has offered an update regarding Leeds‘ injury problems ahead of Friday’s clash with Aston Villa.

With the fixture against high-flying Villa fast approaching, Whites manager Marcelo Bielsa is sweating on the fitness of a number of key players.

Summer signing Diego Llorente is unlikely to feature against Dean Smith’s side, having suffered an injury whilst on international duty with the Spanish national team, whilst Liam Cooper was unable to face Wolves on Monday night.

Stepping in to replace Cooper alongside Robin Koch in the heart of the Leeds defence was Pascal Struijk, but the young Belgian defender is now struggling with an injury on his own.

Phil Hay gives Leeds injury update

Discussing the injury problems currently facing Bielsa ahead of the Villa tie, Hay has said in his latest column that Struijk is ‘unlikely’ to be fit in time to face the Premier League high-fliers.

That could see both Ollie Casey and Charlie Cresswell handed top-flight debuts, with Koch the only fully fit senior centre-back option available to the Argentine at present.

QUIZ: Can you name these 10 signings at Leeds under Marcelo Bielsa?

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Casey, who was once compared to Ben White, has made three appearances this season for Leeds’ under-23s, whilst the 20-year-old has also appeared for the Yorkshire club’s first team on two occasions.

Cresswell has also featured in three games for the under-23 side this term, but at the age of just 17, he may not be thrown into the fray at Villa Park for a Premier League debut.

Would Casey be a good option for Leeds on Friday?

During his tenure in charge of Leeds, Bielsa has been more than trusting in the club’s young players, having been a big part of Kalvin Phillips’ development and rise to England international status.

Giving Casey a chance on Friday evening may be a slight risk, considering Villa have been in excellent free-scoring form this season, but without the likes of Cooper, Llorente and Struijk, the Argentine may have no other option.

It will be interesting to see how Casey gets on if he has the chance but, if his comparisons to Ben White are anything to go by, it would be exciting to see him in action if he gets his chance.

Read more about Leeds’ current injury problems in defence here…

Who do you think would be a better option out of Casey or Cresswell? Let us know your pick in the comments section below…

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Article title: Leeds United: Phil Hay assesses Marcelo Bielsa’s defensive injury problems

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