Leeds United face Newcastle United this weekend, hopefully of further extending their gap over the bottom three with a third successive league win.
Leeds have started 2022 in the perfect manner, seeing off relegation rivals Burnely 3-1 at home before travelling to high-flying West Ham and coming away with all three points.
Leeds have done this in spite of terrible injury concerns, putting in two of the best performances of the season so far, and up there in Marcelo Bielsa’s tenure at the club.
Two more players were brought off with injuries at the London Stadium, providing more selection headaches for the Argentine this week.
As we look ahead to kick-off against Newcastle United, we take a look at two changes we think Bielsa has to consider for Leeds…
Firpo out, Dallas to left-back
The first change we’re expecting to be made is Junior Firpo dropping out of the side after he picked up an injury again the Irons in the first half.
It’s been a summary of the left-back’s time at Elland Road so far, plagued with setback after setback since joining from Barcelona in the summer.
He was like a man possessed in the win over Burnely and many hoped that this would have seen him really kick on, but it didn’t look good seeing him holding what looked like a tweaked hamstring.
Firpo’s absence means that Stuart Dallas will once again move back into the defence and take up his left-back position, a role that he’s well-versed with under Bielsa.
Bamford in for James
It might be harsh on James, but Bamford’s imminent return is something that means he will have to make way for.
The striker is vital to our side, and if he’s ready for this game, he’ll be in line for his first start since our last meeting with Newcastle, back in September.
James is the one that will miss out from the starting lineup here, with Raphinha and Jack Harrison staying in after their sensational displays against West Ham.
What this does give us is some firepower from the bench and a means to change the dynamic of the game.
Not many defenders would like to see James come on for 35 minutes after what’s likely to have been a hectic game.