Mixed injury news for Leeds as Marcelo Bielsa reveals chances of Raphinha playing

Date published: Thursday 14th October 2021 1:37 - James Marshment

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa speaks with Raphinha on the touchline during the Premier League match against Watford at Elland Road

Marcelo Bielsa insists no decision has been made on Raphinha’s availability to face Southampton on Saturday after explaining the difficult waiting game Leeds United face over that star winger.

It’s been a difficult start to the season for the Whites. They head to St Mary’s on Saturday with just one win to their name. And they’ll face a Southampton side sweating over star man Raphinha, who looks set to play for Brazil on Friday morning.

However, in Daniel James and Jack Harrison, Leeds have two summer signings they hope can cover their Brazilian firecracker.

Discussing Raphinha’s prospects of playing, Bielsa refused to rule his side out.

Speaking at his press conference on Thursday afternoon, Bielsa revealed the decision was still to be made.

“There’s no doubt there’s a short tunraorund and the options that he has to participate on Saturday depends on whether he plays for Brazil tonight. How many minutes he plays, how he finishes the game after he participates in it,” Bielsa said.

“How efficient a rest he has in the next 36 hours. Considering that a third of those hours he will taking it flying and if there’s any risk that that fatigue can cause injuries, we won’t risk him”

“There’s plenty of risks to consider so we can’t promise anything.”

Leeds will again be without Patrick Bamford with an ankle injury, though Kalvin Phillips still has a chance.

“Patrick Bamford has a problem in the ankle as we informed previously and is recovery is subject to the evolution of the injury. We can’t anticipate when he’ll be back. It’s on a day-to-day basis,” Bielsa added.

“Kalvin has chances of being available. We will decide between today, tomorrow and Saturday.”

Luke Ayling is another who missed out last time and Bielsa confirmed the Saints clash comes too soon.

“He is at the halfway stage of his recovery. But [Adam] Forshaw is available and so too is [Crysencio] Summerville.

“[Robin] Koch is in the United States undergoing a small procedure on his pubis.”

Bielsa warns Leeds of difficult clash at Southampton

On the importance of keeping the winning feeling going at Southampton, Bielsa added: “Every game we play for three points which are indispensible for us. The reality of the opponent does not condition our game.

“Southampton have had many draws, so it is not an easy game.

“But the effect of us getting a win over Watford, we will see how if we have measure it.

“The games in the Premier League that are always difficult. Some games, you could say are more than difficult. It’s impossible to say before hand of what we’re absolutely sure of.

“But what we are sure of is that Southampton are going to be a very difficult opponent to overcome.”


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Bamford impressed by trio of Leeds youngsters

Meanwhile, Bamford is tipping a trio of young stars to soon make the first-team breakthrough with Leeds.

Cody Drameh, Sam Greenwood and Lewis Bate all impressed during the international break. Indeed, the trio combined in scoring a goal for England U21s in a clash against Italy.

And on the official Leeds United podcast, actor and Leeds fan Matthew Lewis picked that out as his highlight of the week.

He said: “My moment to the week was England’s under-21, the equaliser against Italy, it was made in Leeds.

“We had Cody Drameh on the right, crossed it in, little flick from Sam Greenwood and then Lewis Bate finishes in the bottom left.”

That too caught the eye of Bamford, appearing in his regular guest slot.

And he reckons the trio are pushing hard for a place in the first team at Leeds.

“Yeah, they’re close,” Bamford said. “I think what the gaffer has shown is that anyone who earns their chance will be given it. People who work hard will be given a chance. He’s not afraid to put the young ones in if they deserve it.”

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