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Phil Hay makes big Leeds United selection claim for Southampton clash

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Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford is likely to start against Southampton a week on Saturday if he is fit.

That’s according to The Athletic’s Phil Hay, who says manager Marcelo Bielsa remains a big fan of the 28-year-old.

Having previously been an ever present in the Premier League for Leeds since their return to the top-flight, Bamford has now missed his side’s last two games due to injury, with Rodrigo filling in in the centre forward role.

However, it has been reported that the striker could be ready to return to action when Leeds travel to Southampton in the first game after the international break, on the 16th October.

Now it seems that if that is indeed the case, Bamford will go straight back into the Whites’ starting lineup at St Mary’s, judging by these latest comments from Hay.

Writing about Bielsa’s recent team selections in an article for The Athletic, Hay said: “To me, it made sense to get Dallas and Klich into the midfield while the results weren’t coming. It gives a bit of strength and stability and it plays the percentages slightly.

“It’s a steadier formation and Rodrigo at 9 is much more free to think like an attacker. When Bamford returns? Something tells me he’ll be back into the starting line-up. Bielsa loves him.”

So far this season, Bamford has scored once in his five league appearances for Leeds, that goal coming in the 1-1 draw at Burnley.

It would seem to make sense for Bamford to return to the lineup against Southampton if fit.

The 28-year-old remains Leeds’ most potent attacker, and they do need to start finding goals from somewhere this season.

Indeed, this game is one Leeds ought to have identified as winnable, so you would expect them to be going with their strongest possible lineup at St Mary’s.

That would of course include Bamford if fit, and you imagine he will be relishing the chance to get back to action after a rare spell on the sidelines.

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UCLan Sports Journalism graduate. Have been working for Leeds All Over since summer 2020, and can only be found writing on Football League World.