Could a Leeds v Liverpool friendly be on the cards?
03 Jun 2020 08:15 am, by YorkshireSquare
How do you even go about risk assessing Gjanni Alioski? That boy alone must require enough paperwork to make providing a risk assessment for a return to contact training a substantial task, but Leeds United have managed it. The club have had their risk assessment for the next stage of training approved by the Football League and as such were able to resume contact training on Tuesday. It’s an important step towards the goal of resuming competitive matches in just under three weeks time on the 20th June.
The return to training has gone well so far for Leeds, the club has had no positive Coronavirus tests in the first week and a bit of testing and the players are looking in great shape. The new running track at Thorp Arch was one of Bielsa’s big changes over the summer and the players have been putting in the hard yards. Every single player has come back and beaten the stats they were putting in pre-lockdown. It certainly looks as though the players are fit, the step up to more competitive training will help them to get match fit over the next couple of weeks.
The same cannot necessarily be said for all Championship clubs, with QPR particularly angered by the tight timelines for getting the season restarted. Chief executive Lee Hoos is “vehemently opposed” to the restart date stating that it is not enough time to gear up to full match fitness. Manage also said the the decision to resume on 20 June “beggars belief”. Some of the complaints may be founded with an increase in soft tissue injuries seen since the Bundesliga’s return but the noise does suggest some clubs have not prepared as well as others. There have been no signs of dissent of complaints from West Brom of Leeds.
In other news, the Premier League has given clubs permissions to play friendlies, with Liverpool already having played a full 11 v 11 game in training at Anfield on Monday. Premier League sides made a request to face other teams in preparation for the return of competitive games on 20th June and it is understood Championship clubs have reportedly already been approached about fixtures. The EFL will make their decision on friendlies later this week but if the decision is a positive one could it mean Leeds may play some behind closed doors friendlies with Premiership sides in the next couple of weeks?
The Premier League rules state that clubs may only travel 90 minutes for friendlies (special dispensation for Newcastle given geography) and players must travel in their own cars. Could this open the way for Leeds to have a warm up game against any of the Liverpool or Manchester clubs, Burnley, Sheffield United or Newcastle before the Championship season kicks off again? With Marcelo Bielsa’s side at the top of the Championship playing better football than a lot of Premier League teams they would be a good test for any of the top sides.