Bielsa told to stick with ‘excellent’ Kalvin Phillips partner for Tottenham clash

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa looks pensive during Premier League clash at Elland Road against Watford

Pundit Noel Whelan has told Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa to start Adam Forshaw in midfield this weekend.

The Whites travel to Tottenham on Sunday as the Premier League returns after the latest international break. They will be looking to extend their unbeaten league run to four matches and cause an upset over Antonio Conte’s men.

Leeds’ last outing was an exciting 1-1 draw with Leicester City. Raphinha whipped in a free-kick from distance in the 26th minute before Harvey Barnes scored a stunner soon afterwards.

Neither side managed to find a winner as the spoils were shared at Elland Road.

Forshaw partnered Kalvin Phillips in midfield that game and looked more than comfortable. He oozed class on his first league start in almost 800 days, following a serious hip injury suffered back in 2019.

Ahead of the Tottenham game, Phillips told Football Insider: “We’re off the back of a brilliant performance against Leicester in a game we should have won.

“Is there anyone there who I think deserves to lose their place? Probably not.

“Forshaw definitely deserves to keep his place in the side, I thought he was excellent against Leicester.

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“We are going to need him at Tottenham. Leeds United have got to control that midfield area and be competitive in there. Adam and Kalvin gave us that in their last game together.

“I think it’s the perfect partnership to head away to Spurs and try and dominate that area.”

Forshaw’s Leeds career appeared to be over, but he is now back in the fold and impressing Bielsa. Following the draw with Leicester, Bielsa said the Englishman had shown off his ‘physical qualities’.

Forshaw will need to keep up his good run of form if he wants to remain in the starting eleven. The likes of Mateusz Klich and Jamie Shackleton are also available to Bielsa.

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Brazil left enraged by Raphinha injury

Meanwhile, Brazil players and fans were left angry on Tuesday as Nicolas Otamendi drew blood from Raphinha during the clash against rivals Argentina.

The former Man City defender went unpunished, despite Raphinha showing the referee his facial injury from a swung elbow.

After the match, which ended 0-0, Brazil boss Tite said: “It’s inconceivable. And I say less, that’s not the term I meant, I’m saying it because I’m polite.”

Brazilian journalist Julio Gomes wrote: ‘He had a “Premier League player attitude”. No show, no rolls on the floor.

‘Raphinha set an example to her teammates and to every soccer player in the country. More preoccupation with the game, less theatre and attempts to deceive or influence those who already have to make a lot of difficult decisions on the field.

‘Raphinha’s blood is not from a cockroach. Raphinha’s blood is that of a professional football player. It is the blood of those who respect the sport. Congratulations to him. That kind of attitude is worth a lot more than a goal.’

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