Football

Leeds absentee list grows to eight as another attacking star suffers injury

Marcelo Bielsa has been handed yet another personnel dilemma for Leeds United after Daniel James picked up a muscle injury.

Leeds have been enduring a tough week. On Tuesday, they were hammered 7-0 by champions Manchester City. One of the factors that led to the heavy defeat – although it should not be an excuse – was the number of players they were missing.

Now, one more has been added to the list. The Daily Telegraph are reporting, from Mike McGrath, that Daniel James is also now set for a spell on the sidelines.

James started the defeat to City but went off at half-time. McGrath has now confirmed that the attacker has suffered a muscle injury.

Leeds will now be without eight players for their match against Arsenal on Saturday. Junior Firpo is banned, while there are seven players injured.

James joins Kalvin Phillips, Patrick Bamford, Liam Cooper, Rodrigo, Robin Koch and Pascal Struijk on the sidelines.

It only makes things tougher for Bielsa, who will be seeking to halt a three-match winless run. They will have to try and do so against a side who have won back-to-back matches, both with clean sheets.

James, 24, joined Leeds in the summer from Manchester United. He was a long-term target for the Whites and has made 13 Premier League starts so far this season.

For now, though, he will have to wait a while before adding to them, while Bielsa finds a way to work without him.


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Bielsa faces Leeds questions

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the City thrashing, questions have been asked of highly-regarded Leeds boss Bielsa.

The Argentine is revered in West Yorkshire and beyond, but his approach against City was criticised.

Marcelo Bielsa raising his hand during a Leeds game

After the match, ex-City defender Joleon Lescott was far from impressed and had some serious questions about the Leeds approach.

“I just find it baffling that Bielsa gets so much credit for being this unique tactician. But yet he hasn’t been able to see that what he was doing in the first half, how they were playing, wasn’t going to be any different in the second half,” Lescott said.

“It doesn’t surprise me after seeing the first half that they conceded seven goals.”

Owen Hargreaves was in agreement with Lescott, admitting it was strange to see Leeds still playing such an open game.

“They kept trying to play at five, six nil and as Joleon was saying, you would’ve thought they’d try and tighten up a little bit defensively but they didn’t.

“They kept trying to play, kept trying to score. He plays his way, that’s his way of playing and I think that’s his biggest loss ever,” he said.

Now, Bielsa will be hoping to find a way to get back on track as the Arsenal clash approaches. But it won’t be easy given all the absences.

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The post Leeds absentee list grows to eight as another attacking star suffers injury appeared first on TEAMtalk.

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