Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa says that Stuart Dallas and Helder Costa could be in contention to feature against Stoke City on Thursday night, after missing Saturday’s win at Blackburn.
Both Dallas and Costa sat out the 3-1 victory at Ewood Park, as Barry Douglas and Ezgjan Alioski coming into the starting lineup for Bielsa side, with Douglas in particular winning plenty of praise for his performance in Lancashire.
However, it seems as though both Dallas and Costa were unlucky not to feature for Leeds in that victory.
Speaking about the fitness situation of Costa and Dallas in his post-match press conference, Bielsa was quoted by Leeds Live as saying: “They were close to playing today. We will see if they can play on Thursday.”
Despite that, it seems the match with Blackburn was always going to come just too soon for the duo, as when if Douglas and Alioski would have got the nod had Dallas and Costa been fit, Bielsa added: “I couldn’t think about this because I knew two days ago that Dallas and Costa weren’t able to play.
“I approached the matching knowing that Costa and Dallas weren’t able to play.”
This is something that could now provide a bit of a selection headache for Bielsa.
The Argentine is of course known for his loyalty to his first-choice players, which would suggest that Costa and Dallas would come back into the side if possible against Stoke.
However, the performances of Douglas and Alioski at Blackburn mean you could justify keeping both in the side, potentially giving Bielsa a big decision to make ahead of the Stoke clash.
But given the games continue to come thick and fast, and with Leeds now within touching distance of promotion, that is a better problem for Bielsa to have, than if he found himself with players struggling either for fitness or form.