Gaetano Berardi returns to training as we look ahead to Palace
08 Feb 2021 08:19 am, by YorkshireSquare
Good Morning. It's Monday 8th February, and her are the latest headlines from Elland Road…
Should Leeds beat Palace this time round?
The result at Selhurst Park was perhaps one of the most disappointing of the season. Let’s be honest, Crystal Palace are a limited side! They currently sit two places behind Leeds in thirteenth on the same points but with a worse goal difference and a game in hand. It could have been a different story had the Video Assistant Referee not punished Patrick Bamford for daring to point where he wanted the ball played before lashing it into the back of Vicente Guaita’s goal, but it was not to be.
But Leeds have moved on since that game back in November, Raphinha has become a regular in the side since then and looks more than at home in the Premier League. Palace may have limped home against Newcastle last week after an early scare, but they lost top scorer Wilfried Zaha with a hamstring in the process. Palace are one dimensional without Zaha, they will try to play on the break like they usually do but, without Zaha, they just don't carry the same threat.
Second time round should Leeds really take all three points against Roy Hodgson’s men?
Gaetano Berardi returns to training!
This season has been bad news injury wise when it comes to the defence all season with Liam Cooper, Robin Koch and Diego Llorente all injured at various stages of the season. But there is some good news, Gaetano Berardi will return to training on Monday after seven months out. The 32-year-old Swiss international has been side-lined following knee surgery having torn his cruciate ligament against Derby in the penultimate game of last season back in July.
It was heart-breaking to see Berardi stretchered off the pitch against Derby having extended his contract to see Leeds over the line despite having no assurances over where he would be playing this season. His ‘side before self’ attitude has always endeared him to the fans and the majority were delighted when the club did the right thing and gave him a contract for this season despite knowing he would miss the majority through injury.
But sentiment aside, does Berardi have anything to offer in the Premier League? Coming back from knee surgery is hard enough without having to adjust to a new league with greater demands.
Are Leeds in danger of becoming too reliant on Raphinha?
The Palace game back in November was the first real look we got at Raphael Dias Belloli, he had amassed fifteen minutes in two previous games but at Loftus Road we got a full forty-five minutes of his Brazilian amazingness in it’s full glory. Signed for what seems like a snip at £17 million this summer he is already becoming a fans favourite, a clear level above in class than most of his teammates, usually most other players on the pitch.
He has great vision, his pace his frightening, his skills outrageous and he has an eye for goal too. In recent weeks a lot of the positive things Leeds have done have gone through Raphinha. Pablo Hernandez, once our talisman, seems to be somewhat forgotten now Raphinha is on the scene. There was concern when he hobbled off against Newcastle but he was fit for Everton and was our best player on the pitch, nearly inspiring an unlikely second half comeback.
But are Leeds in danger of becoming too reliant the Brazilian? The prospect of Leeds United with Costa on the wing rather than Raphinha is a lot less daunting.