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Leeds United duo Patrick Bamford, Liam Cooper doubtful for Chelsea clash

Leeds United duo Patrick Bamford, Liam Cooper doubtful for Chelsea clash

Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch has confirmed that striker Patrick Bamford and captain Liam Cooper are both injury doubts ahead of Sunday’s Premier League encounter at home against Chelsea.

Bamford, who was hampered with injuries last season, limped off just before the half-hour mark in their 2-2 draw at Southampton last weekend after sustaining a minor groin injury.

Cooper, meanwhile, is yet to play for the West Yorkshire outfit this season due to an Achilles injury which he picked up during the summer.

Marsch has since revealed that both players will be assessed on a day-to-day basis before they welcome Chelsea to Elland Road this weekend.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday afternoon, Marsch said: “[Cooper] has been on the pitch, I think him and then [Bamford] as well but you know they’re a little bit day-to-day so we’ll have to see how that factors in for Chelsea.”

Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch celebrates a draw on August 13, 2022© Reuters

When asked specifically about an update on Bamford, Marsch added: “I would say it’s probably a decision that we’ll be ready to make tomorrow. We know we can’t risk him and that we don’t want him to pick up further injury. But he’s feeling good, he’s looking good. So let’s see.

“[Taking him off] was a precaution and then it’s just being precautionary with him in general. We know after having almost missed an entire season that we just have to be really intelligent with how we manage everything. So we’ll be prepared if he’s ready to go and if he’s done and the end of that game.”

The news on Bamford comes shortly after the striker revealed on The Official Leeds United Podcast that he is expecting to miss the game against Chelsea.

“I’m alright to be fair. I’ve got a slight groin injury so I’ll probably miss the Chelsea game but I think that’s just part and parcel of coming back,” Bamford said on the podcast that was released on Friday morning.

“I barely played or trained last year, I reckon the amount of times I trained from when I first got injured to the end of the season was probably less than 10, actually with the team.

“It was basically like a whole year out so it’s just kind of getting used to it again. Until Saturday when I felt it, I was feeling alright.”

Leeds United's Joe Gelhardt applauds fans after the match on April 30, 2022© Reuters

Elsewhere, Marsch has confirmed that young forward Joe Gelhardt is available for selection this weekend after recovering from a minor injury, and the American has also provided an fitness update on Luke Ayling, Junior Firpo and Stuart Dallas.

Both Ayling and Firpo are recovering with knee injuries, with the former set to remain out for the rest of this month, while Dallas is sidelined with a broken leg which he sustained in the 4-0 defeat against Manchester City in April.

“[Gelhardt] is back in training and ready to go,” Marsch added. “Stuart’s still coming along with his injury.”

“Luke and Junior are really looking strong and getting better every day but not ready for Chelsea. We’ll see, I’d say maybe a week or two away, they’re looking better and better.”

Leeds have made a bright start to the new season, claiming four points from their opening two games against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton.

The Whites, however, have failed to win in each of their last eight meetings against Sunday’s opponents Chelsea, who have also accumulated four points from their first two league fixtures against Everton and Tottenham Hotspur.

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