Leeds team news and injury update for Monday’s clash with Wolves
Leeds proved they can compete with the Premier League’s heavyweights when they earned a draw against Manchester City at Elland Road last time out.
They were like Muhammad Ali and his famous rope-a-dope tactics against George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle as they limited to City to just one goal during their storming start before hitting back to put Pep Guardiola’s side on the canvas.
Bielsa has spent the international break working his players hard at Thorp Arch and deadline day signing Raphinha has settled in well and should be in the squad for Monday.
Diego Llorente is out and Bielsa will leave a decision on skipper Liam Cooper to the last minute to give him every chance of recovering from his groin injury to play.
He claimed no-one else had returned injured from international duty.
Injury: groin strain
Expected return date: Monday possibly
Cooper is racing against time to be fit for Monday after injuring his groin on international duty with Scotland.
Cooper played in Scotland’s Euro play-off semi-final win over Israel last Thursday before pulling out of Steve Clarke’s squad with his injury.
Leeds have been working intensively on his injury in a bid to make him available for Wolves and Marcelo Bielsa will make a late call on him.
Bielsa said: “Cooper’s muscular injury is not as bad as Llorente’s, but it puts him at risk of missing the game against Wolves on Monday.”
Injury: groin strain
Expected return date: Two weeks
Llorente was injured on international duty with Spain and hurt his groin after winning his sixth camp against Portugal 10 days ago.
He was an unused sub in Spain’s match against Switzerland on Saturday and subsequently withdrew from their squad and returned to Thorp Arch for treatment.
His groin injury is more serious than Cooper’s and he was initially ruled out for up to three weeks.
The centre-half has still to make his Leeds debut following his move from Real Sociedad and Bielsa hopes he will be back soon.
Expected return date: Monday
Hernandez hurt his groin during the warm-up for Leeds’ home match against Fulham last month.
He completed his rehabilitation during the international break and Bielsa says he is available for Monday.
Leeds have tried to plug the playmaker role Hernandez fulfils so well with Tyler Roberts and Rodrigo with mixed results and Bielsa is pleased to have the Spaniard back fit.
When asked about Hernandez, Bielsa said: “He’s fine.”
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