Leeds United v Leicester City Match Thread - Rodrigo and Raphinha out, Shack, Cooper and Pablo in!

30 Oct 2020 03:09 pm, by andrewjohnsmith


Monday 2nd November 8.00pm | Elland Road | Live on Sky Sports


After dispatching unbeaten Aston Villa with ease last weekend, Leeds United face another team competing at the top of the table on Monday in Leicester City. The Foxes stand fourth in the Premier League having won four of their six matches so far, including victories against Arsenal and Manchester City, with Jamie Vardy netting six times already. But it’s not all been plain sailing with defeats to West Ham and Aston Villa. Brendan Rodgers’ men have also been busy in Europe with games the last two midweeks against Zorya Luhansk and AEK Athens this Thursday. The six days more rest could be a crucial advantage for Leeds given the tempo they play games at.

Marcelo Bielsa had some good news for Leeds fans at his pre-game press conference on Friday, captain Liam Cooper has recovered from the injury he picked up whilst on international duty with Scotland and is available to start. Pascal Struijk ably deputised against Wolves whilst Luke Ayling was sensational at centre back last week against Aston Villa. Bielsa revealed he has not yet decided upon his starting eleven but his toughest decision may come at defensive midfield. Struijk started against Villa though was withdrawn having picked up an early booking to be replaced by Jamie Shackleton, who alongside Mateusz Klich dominated midfield and were a deciding factor in the victory.





Did Shackleton do enough to make the starting eleven on Monday? He certainly took his chance with both hands and proved he is more than capable of competing at Premier League level. Whilst Jack Harrison will feature in Matty Cash’s nightmares well beyond Halloween, Helder Costa did not quite have as much success on the opposite wing. A brief cameo from Raphinha impressed greatly, his defence splitting pass to Jack Harrison one not even contemplated by mere mortals. He certainly looks a fantastic prospect, capable of worrying opposition defences but has he yet shown enough to make a case for a place in the starting eleven? Diego Llorente remains unavaialbe.

Portuguese right-back Ricardo Pereira remains on the sidelines and although it is hoped he will return after the international break he will miss Monday's game. Timothy Castagne and Jonny Evans were absent from the Leicester City squad that took on AEK Athens in the Europa League on Thursday. Castagne is likely to miss Leicester’s next three matches with a hamstring injury whilst Evans is also a doubt for the trip to Elland Road with a back injury. To add to Rodgers’ defensive issues Caglar Soyuncu is also out until the new year after his adductor was torn off the bone. Leicester played a makeshift back three against Athens including 36-year-old Wes Morgan.


Latest Team News
Rodrigo will miss out tonight, isolating due to coming into close contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19. Raphinha has picked up an ankle injury but captain Liam Cooper will return to the starting eleven. Pablo Hernandez and Jamie Shackleton will start in midfield.


Leeds Starting XI
Meslier, Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas, Shackleton, Klich, Costa, Hernandez, Harrison, Bamford

Subs: Casilla, Alioski, casey, Struijk, Davis, Roberts, Poveda

View all Showing latest 5 comments of 453...

Lumiukko wrote on 05 Nov 2020 04:54 pm

andrewjohnsmith wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 5:28 am Most managers would obviously have put Gelhardt on the bench for an extra attacking option. Under what scenario would Davis, Casey, Strujik have got on the pitch? It does speak of Bielsa's loyalty to his squad. But, would definitely have been nice to have seen Gelhardt available for the last 10.
Quite. You only have to look at history of when young talent breaks through; Owen, Smith, Rooney, Rashford, Kane, Mason Greenwood; It's near always only when a managers hand is forced via injury that they get league debuts.

andrewjohnsmith wrote on 05 Nov 2020 05:28 am

Lumiukko wrote: Wed Nov 04, 2020 5:24 pm Great analysis Andrew. I've finally managed to watch the rest of the game and with the time to think more rationally agree with much of your sentiment. This was the perfect game to bring in Gelhardt to the bench since we were so depleted and by the time we were 3-1 down, give him a run out and who knows? I'm sure Bielsa has sound reasoning of his decisions but this was one where I think he tripped up a little. Onward to Palace where I am sure Bielsa will have the lads fired up. London not the best hunting grounds for us but records are there to be broken etc.
Most managers would obviously have put Gelhardt on the bench for an extra attacking option. Under what scenario would Davis, Casey, Strujik have got on the pitch? It does speak of Bielsa's loyalty to his squad. But, would definitely have been nice to have seen Gelhardt available for the last 10.

Lumiukko wrote on 04 Nov 2020 05:24 pm

Great analysis Andrew. I've finally managed to watch the rest of the game and with the time to think more rationally agree with much of your sentiment. This was the perfect game to bring in Gelhardt to the bench since we were so depleted and by the time we were 3-1 down, give him a run out and who knows? I'm sure Bielsa has sound reasoning of his decisions but this was one where I think he tripped up a little. Onward to Palace where I am sure Bielsa will have the lads fired up. London not the best hunting grounds for us but records are there to be broken etc.

andrewjohnsmith wrote on 04 Nov 2020 06:48 am

Smudge3920 wrote: Wed Nov 04, 2020 6:41 am Best synopsis yet of a frustrating game, by someone who has named names, nice post Andrew. No calling for heads or need to replace anyone, just the facts...And the fact was it was a bad game , by team and dare I say it... Bielsa decision(s)... That is why I focus on what did not work on the day and what IMO needs to be worked on... To easy to call for heads and then expect the owner to fork out millions on one game.

I will rephrase something I said ... 12th place... 6 points between 12th and 1st... absolutely no need to panic based on one game.
No problem blaming Koch for the first goal. But he did have a strong game overall

My assessment of Poveda may be unpopular but he has to start producing a little more end game

But overall, think there was too much harsh criticism thrown around. We were not that bad and with a bit of luck could have won the game

Smudge3920 wrote on 04 Nov 2020 06:41 am

andrewjohnsmith wrote: Wed Nov 04, 2020 6:11 am Performance wasn't that bad.
Best synopsis yet of a frustrating game, by someone who has named names, nice post Andrew. No calling for heads or need to replace anyone, just the facts...And the fact was it was a bad game , by team and dare I say it... Bielsa decision(s)... That is why I focus on what did not work on the day and what IMO needs to be worked on... To easy to call for heads and then expect the owner to fork out millions on one game.

I will rephrase something I said ... 12th place... 6 points between 12th and 1st... absolutely no need to panic based on one game.