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Bielsa provides Llorente, Koch & Bamford updates before Newcastle

By Conor Laird Published: September 16, 2021 6:51 pm

Last Updated: September 16, 2021 6:57 pm

Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa has, on Thursday, provided a team news update on his squad.

Whites struggling The opening weeks of the new season have of course proven less than ideal at Elland Road.

On the back of a hugely impressive debut campaign back in the top-tier of English football – which culminated in a commendable 9th-place finish – the Peacocks have since struggled early doors in 2021/22.

Across their first four Premier League outings, Bielsa and co. have scraped together just two points, courtesy of draws with Everton and Burnley.

A pair of altogether concerning defeats have also been forthcoming, with a 5-1 opening day drubbing at Manchester United having been followed by a 3-0 final scoreline at home to Liverpool last time out.

Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (2nd L) celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Liverpool at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on September 12, 2021. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

As such, it goes without saying that Leeds could do with securing an overdue first three-point haul of the season when they make the trip to St. James’ Park for a meeting with Newcastle United tomorrow night.

‘Not able to count on…’ The latest word stemming from the Peacocks’ camp, though, points towards an altogether challenging 90 minutes on Tyneside in 24 hours’ time.

Speaking in a press conference this evening, Marcelo Bielsa was inevitably drawn on the latest on his squad’s wellbeing.

And, in a hugely concerning update, the Leeds boss went on to confirm that he will be unable to call on three of his four senior central defenders, in the form of Diego Llorente, Robin Koch and Pascal Struijk.

The latter is of course set to sit out a ban over the coming weeks, whilst the former pair have failed to recover from respective injury problems.

In more encouraging news, though, it was also assured that Patrick Bamford is fit and available, having emerged as a surprise fitness concern earlier this week.

Bielsa: “Of the four centre-backs that we have, we are not able to count on Diego (Llorente), Pascal (Struijk) or (Robin) Koch but we’re in conditions to resolve the issue.” Patrick Bamford has “no difficulties” and Adam Forshaw should be available in GW6. #LUFC

— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) September 16, 2021

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