Leeds United’s Welsh trio faced a race against time to get back up to speed after their international outing on Tuesday, with the side taking on Rotherham United this evening.
The first match back after the international break in the top two tiers of English football is Leeds’ trip to Rotherham United this evening.
Moved to a Friday night, the game will be televised on Sky Sports, posing significant issues for Daniel Farke’s squad and their fitness after international outings.
Who is a concern for tonight’s game?
Aside from the recovering injuries of Djed Spence, Jamie Shackleton, Sam Byram, Pascal Struijk, Joe Gelhardt, and Stuart Dallas, Leeds have a handful of players coming into this week off the back of little rest time following international fixtures.
Tuesday saw Willy Gnonto play a full 90 minutes for Italy’s U21s (scoring twice), while Ethan Ampadu, Joe Rodon, and Dan James all played for Wales in their crucial Euro 2024 qualifier against Turkey.
Farke said this about the quartet during his pre-match press conference, via the YEP:
“All in all, we’ve spent this international break in a good mood, we’re in good shape. It’s good to head into the break with a few wins. First few days we calmed the load, middle of last week proper training with a small group. The group is growing day to day. Lots of load and lots of travelling [for internationals], there will be some late calls. We have to adapt to the situation, that’s how it is.”
“I can’t send them [James, Ampadu, Gnonto] into a normal team session tomorrow. We will have a few players heading into this game without one team session.
“I’m not a friend of Friday evening kick-offs. My gut feeling should be the first start on Saturday afternoons. The TV picks how it is.”
What’s the latest?
Now, it seems as though these four players are in good enough shape to come into the squad for this evening’s trip to South Yorkshire.
That’s according to Leeds Live, who share the matchday squad for the visit to the New York Stadium:
“Meslier, Ayling, Byram, Ampadu, Cresswell, Struijk, Cooper, Firpo, Piroe, Kamara, Bamford, Shackelton, Summerville, Anthony, Klaesson, Rodon, James, Gray, Rutter*, Byram, Poveda, Darlow, Gnonto, Gruev, Gelhardt.”*Rutter may not be fit to travel
Rotherham v Leeds predictions?
We can’t afford for all four of these players to be absent, so they’re going to have to be in the lineup for tonight’s game.
Thankfully, we have a lot of depth in our squad to be able to cover for some of these players that might not be fit to play, but we can’t have all of them miss out.
The Swansea clash next week might be where we see changes made to the side, and you wouldn’t blame Farke for it.