Journalist Dean Jones has described the return of Luke Ayling and Patrick Bamford as a “boost” for Leeds.
The duo have been sidelined since the 1-1 draw at Newcastle more than two months ago but are both set to return from their respective injuries.
What’s the latest news with Ayling and Bamford?
Whilst the pair struggled to find their best form before they got injured, having them back in the side will be a huge positive for Marcelo Bielsa.
Ayling, valued at £4.5m, had been Leeds’ 13th best player this season according to WhoScored, whilst Bamford, £19.8m, had scored just once in five games prior to his ankle injury sustained in the latter stages at St James’ Park.
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They’ve both missed eight Premier League games, including the weekend draw at Brighton, but ahead of their home game with Crystal Palace tomorrow evening, Bielsa confirmed that they’re fit and will play tonight for the Under-23s against Manchester City.
It’s unclear whether the pair will be available to play any part against the Eagles 24 hours later, but they should be in contention for the Elland Road clash against Brentford on Sunday and then their remaining December fixtures moving forward.
Having been so important for Leeds at both ends of the pitch, Jones knows exactly how big of a lift having those two back in the fold will be for Bielsa.
What did Jones say?
When asked about their potential returns, he told GIVEMESPORT: “It definitely gives them a boost.”
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Could Ayling or Bamford start against Brentford?
It all depends on how they fare for the Under-23s and whether their fitness levels are up to speed.
Should they come through the game unscathed, then there’s every chance they will come straight back into the starting XI.
Ayling returning should allow Diego Llorente to return to the heart of the defence following a few outings at right-back, whilst Bamford being available will force Bielsa into dropping one of Daniel James or Rodrigo, who started in the central forward positions against Brighton.
It’ll be almost three months since Bamford started by the time Brentford visit Yorkshire, but Leeds have scored only seven goals in that period, so Bielsa will want him back in the team as soon as possible.