Leeds: £35k-a-week star 'expected' to return vs Chelsea at Elland Road

Leeds manager Jesse Marsch in the Premier League against Arsenal

Leeds defender Liam Cooper is expected to start tonight’s crunch clash against Chelsea, according to Mirror journalist David Anderson.

The Whites captain has missed the games with Manchester City and Arsenal through injury but is in contention to return for the visit of Thomas Tuchel’s side.

What’s the latest news involving Cooper?

It’s been a sorry campaign for the Scottish defender, who only recently returned from a long-term spell on the sidelines with a hamstring problem and is now nursing a knee injury ahead of a crucial period in Leeds’ season.

But journalist Phil Hay provided a promising update ahead of this evening’s clash and revealed that Cooper has trained prior to the game at Elland Road.

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Leeds are already without key defenders Stuart Dallas and Luke Ayling, who’ll miss the rest of the season through injury and suspension, which means they cannot afford to lose another key player.

However, Anderson is confident that Cooper will recover from his knee issue to start the match.

What did Anderson say about Cooper?

He told GIVEMESPORT: “I think Cooper will play against Chelsea. The hope and expectations are that he will play tonight.

“It’s such a difficult one, because you’re so desperate to have Liam Cooper, Leeds captain, the man who typifies that spirit, the man who came from League Two and typifies that spirit, determination and grit you’re going to need to get out of this hole.”

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How big of a boost is this for Leeds?

Having Cooper, who earns £35,000 per-week, in the team would be huge for Leeds and potentially the difference between getting a positive result.

As mentioned above, they’re already without two of their starting four defenders, not to mention that Cooper is also the captain of the club.

It therefore comes as little surprise that when Cooper starts, Leeds generally get better results.

In fact, they’ve kept four clean sheets and have conceded once in the last five games that he’s played 90 minutes in, which highlights exactly why having him in the starting line-up is a major positive.

Leeds are going to need far more than Cooper at his best if they want to avoid a third straight loss, but his presence should give the whole of the squad and Elland Road a big lift.

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