Leeds United handed injury blow ahead of Newcastle United clash
Marcelo Bielsa has highlighted the ‘positive’ improvements made by Eddie Howe but has revealed one Leeds United star will miss the clash at Elland Road.
Leeds currently sit four places and ten points above Howe’s side and know that a win on Saturday will likely end any relegation fears in West Yorkshire.
The last meeting between the two sides took place in September where an early Raphinha goal was cancelled-out by a superb strike from Allan Saint-Maximin.
One player that will not be involved for Leeds this time around, however, is striker Patrick Bamford. Bielsa revealed that the 28-year-old is suffering from a foot-injury which will keep him out of Saturday’s game.
"Forshaw and Firpo have muscular injuries. Bamford has a new injury at the bottom of his foot. He’s overcome his muscular problems but now he has an issue at the bottom of his foot.”
The clash on Saturday also marks the first time that Howe and Bielsa will meet in a Premier League game and the Argentine was full of praise for the main in the opposing dugout:
“He’s found a system, a habitual group of players, an eleven which repeats itself regularly, and he’s evened the team out in all of the games, they have been close to every opponent in all of the games they’ve played. This all talks positively about the job that he is doing.”
Howe’s side have also been boosted by the arrivals of Kieran Tripper and former-Leeds star Chris Wood in recent weeks and although the new faces will strengthen the Magpies, Bielsa does not believe that they alter their style of play too much:
"With respect to the players that they’ve brought in, their positions are very specific. A right full-back and a centre-forward. It’s their centre-forward who comes to replace the player who usually plays in that position. They’re both classic centre-forwards, even if they have different characteristics, they both play as centre-forwards.
"The same with their right full-back, who plays at different heights down the right hand side. Those two signings are, from my point of view - and only with the rush to answer your question - because it is very difficult to interpret the opponent’s coach, the players don’t alter the way Newcastle play, but the individualities who enrich a squad.”