Marcelo Bielsa has delivered a fitness update ahead of Leeds United’s trip to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United, with one key starter missing out.
Leeds have started life in the Premier League as they mean to go on, playing front-foot attacking football against anyone they come across, whether it be champions-elect Liverpool or relegation candidates, Fulham.
Bielsa’s men have been on either side of two 4-3 results, coming out winners against Scott Parker’s Fulham last time out, despite cruising to a seemingly comfortable 4-1 lead in the second half.
Bramall Lane is the setting for Leeds’ next Premier League fixture as they face a stuttering Sheffield United side yet to get off the mark this season after two defeats to Wolves and Aston Villa.
Pablo Hernandez has been instrumental to Leeds’ success ever since he signed back under Garry Monk, and this Premier League campaign will probably be no different.
After dragging the Whites over the line to promotion, Hernandez was rewarded with his return to the top flight with a trip to Anfield to face the champions, to which he performed fairly well.
However, the Spaniard was dealt a setback during the warmup of the Fulham game when a groin strain meant he had to sit out for Rodrigo Moreno, and that injury looks set to keep him out a little while longer.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Marcelo Bielsa commented on Hernandez’s fitness and the plan surrounding that spot in the team. He stated (via LeedsLive): “Pablo still has two weeks of recovery before he can return.
“The team will largely be the same, only possible alternative will be Roberts instead of Rodrigo.”
It’s a big blow to lose Hernandez in the two games so far that have looked more winnable from our perspective, but it’s part and parcel of having a player at that stage of his career in the ranks.
Going into the 2019/20 season, not many thought Hernandez still had it in him and he produced moments of magic all the way to the title, and there’s no reason why he can’t continue in that manner when he returns.
Rodrigo will probably step into the attacking midfield spot and it’s not a bad replacement to have lined up by swapping a former Spain international for a current one.
Two weeks will also see him unfortunately miss out against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester CIty and that is a battle that we all wanted to see.