Leeds United will be looking to get back on track tomorrow afternoon after a disappointing draw to a relegation-threatened Luton Town in midweek.
They face a trip to Lancashire to face Blackburn Rovers and Marcelo Bielsa could have a bit of a selection headache on his hands following injuries to some of his key stars.
While it remains unclear if skipper Liam Cooper will feature – Phil Hay believes he will – the bigger concern is with ever-present utility man Stuart Dallas, who appears certain to be absent at Ewood Park.
Who starts at left-back vs Blackburn?
The 29-year-old hobbled off in additional time and having started all 40 of United’s league matches this term, he’ll be a big miss.
Bielsa only has one out-and-out left-back on his books in Barry Douglas, but LeedsLive reporter Beren Cross is tipping Gjanni Alioski to get the nod ahead of him.
In a recent Q&A, he said:
“We won’t hear from Bielsa before the match, but he was hopeful on Cooper after Tuesday’s game. Dallas was the bigger concern. I would expect Alioski for Dallas may be the only change on that evidence, but yes, if Cooper’s not ready it will be Berardi coming in. Alternatively, Ayling could shuffle across and Shackleton could come in at right-back, but he may want to change as little as possible.”
It would be a bold call to make considering the 28-year-old has been more of a potent threat at the other end of the pitch in recent matches. He bagged against Fulham and provided that assist for the equaliser on Tuesday night – both from the bench, too.
Leeds’ corner routines were rather shambolic at Elland Road in the week, so it would perhaps be even more of a surprise to see Douglas omitted once again.
Cross’ suggestion of bringing in Jamie Shackleton is also an interesting shout, but a rather unlikely one.