Speaking to the press this afternoon, Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has confirmed that he has just ONE senior centre-back available for tomorrow night’s trip to Tyneside.
Spanish international Diego Llorente limped off in their 3-0 defeat to Liverpool, German giant Robin Koch has been ruled out once again and Pascal Struijk will also be missing after failing to have his red card rescinded this week – meaning he starts a three-game ban tomorrow.
As a result, the only fit centre-back at Bielsa’s disposal is Liam Cooper – who has come in for criticism from large sections of Leeds fans so far this season.
This is therefore an area we must look to exploit on Friday night, with right-back Luke Ayling or U23 talent Charlie Cresswell expected to partner an out of sorts Cooper at St James’ Park.
Many fear they will rip us to shreds regardless, with them having real threats at the other end in Raphinha, Bamford, Harrison and Rodrigo, but we know they give you chances.
Hopefully Saint-Maximin and Almiron can cause havoc, while Gayle and/or Joelinton will need to step up in Callum Wilson’s absence if we’re to come away with a much needed win tomorrow.
Let’s make it count and get at them.