No return close for Leeds duo as Marcelo Bielsa lifts lid on ‘rebellious injury’

Date published: Thursday 30th September 2021 1:34 - James Marshment

Patrick Bamford picks up an injury for Leeds at Newcastle in Premier League game at St James' Park

Marcelo Bielsa has confirmed that Diego Llorente and Raphinha have both been passed fit to face Watford on Saturday – but injury issues for two more Leeds United stars are showing little signs of abating.

The Whites face Watford on Saturday chasing a first Premier League win of the season. They will also be looking for better luck than last Saturday when a last-gasp goal condemned them to a narrow 2-1 loss to West Ham.

That game saw teenage defender Charlie Cresswell plunged into action for his Premier League debut.

And while he impressed, he looks set to drop out the side with a number of options clearing.

Firstly, Pascal Struijk is available again having served a three-match ban. In addition, Spain defender Diego Llorente is also raring to go again, having recovered from the injury he sustained against Liverpool earlier this month.

Addressing their injury issues, Bielsa told a press conference that Patrick Bamford, Luke Ayling and Robin Koch remain sidelined.

And worryingly for Leeds, the setback sustained by Koch shows no sign of easing. Furthermore, Bamford faces another three weeks out.

Bamford has an ankle injury that will take a few more weeks to resolve. It has not been simple for him,” Bielsa said. “A month from the injury to being back [in total].

“Luke Ayling has problem in his knee. It requires simple surgical intervention. Require some time after surgery done.

“Koch’s problem in pubis. Very rebellious injury. No prognostic when he will recover. Can last short period or long period of time. Subject to his evolution.”


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Bielsa talks highly of Watford

Bielsa, meanwhile, knows Leeds face a tough task on Saturday against Xisco Munoz’s side.

They have made a solid start to life back in the Premier League, having seven points from their six games. Indeed, even a Leeds win on Saturday would only move them to within a point of the Hornets.

Bielsa also has been impressed by Watford and said: “[They’re] A solid team. Combative. Players of experience. Fundamentally complicate their development of the opponent.

“They have forwards who are quick and can surprise you. Compliment to the defensive aspect by being hard to get in behind.”

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