Leeds United are hoping to get back to winning ways this weekend.
It’s been a solid start to life back in the Premier League for Marcelo Bielsa’s side as they adjust after 16 years in the EFL.
In truth you’d think that they’ve never been away.
The Whites have been encouraging in the opening weeks after picking up 10 points from their opening seven fixtures so far.
That has seen them settle into a mid-table position and put in some wonderfully exciting performances as well.
But there are still things to be improved.
Leeds slumped to a heavy 4-1 defeat against Leicester City on Monday night – a result that certainly showed some frailties in Bielsa’s squad.
The task now is to bounce back with a positive result against Crystal Palace.
The west Yorkshire side have endured a number of injuries in recent weeks, one of whom has been new signing Raphinha.
A hamstring injury ruled the Brazilian out of the clash with the Foxes, but BBC Leeds reporter Adam Pope hinted this week that he could return for the trip to Selhurst Park.
Should Raphinha make his return, former striker Noel Whelan believes that it will be a real boost to Bielsa’s side.
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan said: “I looked the other day when we’re playing Leicester and I saw their bench and I was like: ‘Wow, what a squad they’ve assembled’.
“We’re trying to replicate that so when we do have two major new signings out, three in Llorente, it does make a difference to when you’re looking at that bench and what can come on and what can change the fortunes.
“It didn’t look as strong as what it did do, you know, losing two players is massive to us. We’ve got to try and keep as many players fit as possible, especially key players and new signings, so that was a huge blow.
“If we can get him back, minimum on the bench on Saturday, I think that’d be a big plus and a confidence boost for everybody because he’s a great little player is Raphinha.”
GIVEMESPORT’S Phil Spencer says…
This would be a real boost for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
Raphinha only arrived at Elland Road in the latter stages of the transfer window but he already seems to be finding his feet.
While limited to two cameo appearances so far, the feeling is that he’s capable of playing a big role this term.
Leeds United need options if they’re to break down these stubborn Premier League defences and the Brazilian certainly offers that.
Whether he’ll be fit to face Crystal Palace remains to be seen, but I’m sure Bielsa would prefer to look at his substitutes’ bench and see the 23-year-old as a potential game-changing option.