Journalist Phil Hay has admitted that he expects to see Jesse Marsch recall Liam Cooper to the Leeds United starting lineup this weekend.
Leeds have managed to keep just one clean sheet all season, which came in a rather unexpected thrashing of Chelsea when the Whites stormed to a 3-0 win at Elland Road, but there have been too many mistakes and lapses in concentration this campaign.
For example, Diego Llorente has made high-profile errors against Everton and Brentford in recent games, which could well now see his starting spot come under threat from club captain Cooper, who now looks to be ready to return to the starting lineup.
While speaking on The Phil Hay Show, Hay revealed his belief that Cooper will start against Aston Villa on Sunday.
Hay said: “He [Marsch] said himself that when he spoke to Llorente, he talked about the need to kind of work Cooper back into the picture, back into the team. Cooper’s had very little involvement because of injury so far this season, but is fit for the weekend.
Should Cooper start vs Villa?
“Marsch saying that to Llorente… I thought, reading between the lines, there is a pretty high likelihood that we’ll see Cooper start against Villa at the weekend.”
TIF Thoughts on Cooper returning…
While the return of Cooper will initially be seen as a good thing based on how poor Llorente has been this season and the fact that they will have their leader back organising their backline, he is starting to get on a bit.
If Leeds are still having to rely on a 31-year-old to shore up their defence, it won’t likely fill many people with confidence – however, it could be the best solution at present for Jesse Marsch.
As Leeds get set to take on Aston Villa – a side that have won just twice in the league all season – Marsch will surely be looking at this game as one they can take all three points from, but they will have to shore up their defence if they are to get anything out of the game as they’ve been conceding goals at a high rate.
Therefore, a change to the Leeds backline would be by no means a surprise as they aim to get back to winning ways.