Sky Sports pundit David Prutton has suggested it will be “interesting” to see if Marcelo Bielsa includes Jean-Kevin Augustin in his matchday squad when Leeds United visit Nottingham Forest on Saturday, as the Argentine strives to avoid a repeat defeat.
Bielsa is yet to name Augustin in any of his matchday teamsheets since welcoming the Frenchman to Elland Road on loan, with the RB Leipzig striker brought to West Yorkshire until the end of the campaign to bolster our Championship title pursuit.
Prutton is adamant that omitting the 22-year-old from the fold last time out against Wigan Athletic was a major error on Bielsa’s half, as the boss would vastly have benefited from having Augustin at least on the bench when United fell behind.
Instead, Leeds “lost themselves” at home to the Latics and now face a challenging tie with Forest that Prutton expects will end 2-2-, as we strive to win only our third league game since beating Hull City on December 10.
“Nottingham Forest missed a real chance last weekend,” Prutton noted in his column for Sky Sports. “A goal up at Birmingham and a penalty shortly before half-time to double their lead. Had Lewis Grabban converted, you feel that they would have gone on to win the game and move to within a point of Leeds.
“Leeds lost themselves at home to Wigan, and it will be interesting to see if Jean-Kevin Augustin is in Marcelo Bielsa’s squad on Saturday, as they certainly could have done with his presence in that defeat. I can’t split these two.”
Will Augustin feature in the squad on Saturday?
Yes, Bielsa will start him
Yes, but only on the bench
No, the wait will continue
Forest will certainly be a challenging customer to deal with on Saturday having taken 17 points during the run of games since we beat Hull in December, while Bielsa has only orchestrated a nine-point haul – the third-worst in the Championship.
Goals have been free-flowing for both sides in that period, though, as Forest have netted 14 and conceded 13 while the Whites’ have struck 14 and allowed 17 at the other end.
Sabri Lamouchi’s City Ground natives even allowed Birmingham City to take 13 shots in their most recent match, while Brentford took 13, Reading hit 12, allowed Luton Town to have eight and gave up 17 at the Madejski Stadium during their first encounter with the Royals over the past month.
But we are not so easy to carve chances against, with Wigan held to five shots, Millwall allowed 11, QPR took nine and Sheffield Wednesday ten – though United only beat the Lions having come back from two goals down.
In other Leeds United news, fans have been reacting on social media after Bielsa refused to make changes at Elland Road.