Leeds United could be without key central defender Liam Cooper for Brentford’s trip to Elland Road on Wednesday night, potentially handing Gaetano Berardi his first start of the campaign.
Bielsa will likely wait until the final moment for news of Cooper’s status, as the boss noted in his pre-game press conference that our captain – along with Ezgjan Alioski and Barry Douglas – is fit to play, but is not currently operating to his full capabilities.
Any concern that playing Cooper could lead to a lengthy absence may see the Argentine ere on the side of caution, in which case he may hand Berardi a birthday present by including the 31-year-old in the starting line-up.
Berardi has so far only tasted competitive action in the Carabao Cup, where he netted a rare goal for himself, and endured a steady game at left-back with the Under 23s on Monday.
The Swiss ace has built a reputation for being a bit of a madman, however, and has more red cards to his name than goals since arriving in West Yorkshire in 2014.
That exact reason is why many Whites supporters fear Bielsa being forced to call upon Berardi for the visit of the Bees to Elland Road, although some would like to see the one-time international back in the starting XI on what is his 31st birthday.
Here’s how these United fans reacted when the club shared a post on Twitter wishing Berardi a happy birthday…
Don’t think he’ll have enough room for anymore cards after all the ones he’s picked up when playing
— Pearce Gaffney (@Pearce_Gaffney) August 21, 2019
Wonder if the ref will have a card for him tonight
— deadlypikey (@deadlypikey) August 21, 2019
Happy Captain Day (only if coops not fit for tonight of course ????)
— Dave (@mcbdave) August 21, 2019
Don’t two foot your cake
— Luke Maloney (@Luke_Maloneyy) August 21, 2019
No doubt if he plays the ref will give him a card for his birthday.
— James (@JamesLUFC) August 21, 2019
Happy birthday ya filthy animal ???????? pic.twitter.com/tu3a0u3VYx
— Kev Burt Original (@Kevburt1) August 21, 2019
Legend!! Geatanoooooooo, Bera!!!
— Zandra LaPoI ???????? (@ZandraLaPoI) August 21, 2019
Wow! We share the same birthday! Happy birthday Berra!
— Paul Allanson (@PaulAllanson23) August 21, 2019
LIVES AND DIES FOR LEEDS!!!
— HullWhites ???????? (@WhitesHull) August 21, 2019
Needs to play with his head more than his heart
— Steve H (@steve_halstead) August 21, 2019
GOAL ON HIS BIRTHDAY
— Ryan (@Ryannn211) August 21, 2019
LIVES AND DIES FOR LEEDS BERA
— Luke (@LukeFazz24_) August 21, 2019