Leeds United will be looking to get back to winning ways when they host Arsenal this weekend.
The Whites suffered a thumping 7-0 defeat at Manchester City last time out but could stretch their unbeaten run at Elland Road to five matches with a positive result.
Meanwhile, the Gunners are hoping to secure their third successive victory and will be keen to build on a confidence-boosting 1-0 midweek success over West Ham United.
However, Marcelo Bielsa’s side are currently going through an injury crisis and could be without up to nine players for the game against Arsenal.
LeedsLive take a look at the Whites team news heading into the clash with the Gunners.
After limping off in the loss at the Ethiad Stadium, Shackleton will now miss Saturday’s match with an achillies issue.
Bielsa confirmed in his pre-match press conference that the 22-year-old isn’t available for the game against Arsenal, but didn’t reveal a time frame on the injury.
He was replaced by Mateusz Klich in the 38th-minute as Stuart Dallas seemed to drop into right-back and the Whites could do the same with Shackleton out.
Another fresh problem, the Leeds boss revealed that James has suffered an aductor muscle after he went off at half-time in the defeat at City.
Joe Gelhardt came on for the Welshman, who started as the lone striker but struggled to have many opportunities as the Whites fell to a heavy loss.
Like Shackleton, the length of James’ absence is not yet known, however, there’s no doubt Leeds will want him back for the trip to Liverpool on Boxing Day.
The German international has missed the last four months through injury, but is back in contention to face the Gunners and could feature for the first time since the opening day of the season.
Bielsa revealed that Koch has now recovered from a pelvic problem, but refused to say whether he will come straight back into the starting XI considering Leeds’ defensive issues.
He said: “It’s not an evaluation that we’ve made just yet. Ayling came back to play as a starter after playing 45 minutes with the U23s. Koch has accumulated training sessions here that are sufficient.”
Leeds United centre-back Robin Koch is back fit to face Arsenal this weekend. (Image: 2021 Getty Images)
Phillips is ruled out for the foreseeable future after suffering a hamstring injury against Brentford.
The 26-year-old, though, has reportedly undergone successful surgery on the injury in recent days as his road to recovery starts.
Before the game against Chelsea last weekend, a club statement said: “Suffered a hamstring injury [last] Sunday. Undergone treatment, and the club’s medical staff will structure the next steps in his recovery.”
Bamford also suffered hamstring injury against Brentford, which was his return to action after 11 games out.
He picked up the injury while celebrating his stoppage time equaliser in the 2-2 draw with the Bees.
Last week’s aforementioned club statement said: “Suffered a hamstring injury during last Sunday’s game against Brentford. The evolution of the injury is subject to daily assessment.”
The Scotland international was the third player to pick up a hamstring injury in the clash with Brentford, but no timescale has yet been placed on his recovery, though.
Cooper previously featured in all 15 Premier League matches this season, providing one assist and had played an important role in the Whites’ three-game unbeaten run before the trip to Stamford Bridge.
Liam Cooper will miss Saturday’s fixture with Arsenal after suffering a hamstring injury. (Image: 2021 Getty Images)
Rodrigo has been ruled out of action indefinitely due to a heel injury he has been nursing in recent weeks.
Bielsa has claimed that is an issue that doctors see only a few times a year, which makes it difficult to pinpoint a date for his return, although it is likely that he will miss this weekend’s game against Arsenal.
Leeds’ recent statement said: “Bilateral heel pain. The medical staff have deemed it necessary to reduce his activity for the time being, in order to aid his long-term recovery.”
Like Rodrigo, Pascal Struijk has also been ruled out indefinitely due to the unusual nature of his injury.
Struijk had recovered from the hip issue that saw him miss the game with Brentford, however he picked up a fresh injury in training last week.
Bielsa told the media before his side’s trip to Manchester City: “An explosive moment made two bones in his feet collide. That does not generate an injury. That generates pain [and] until that pain disappears it’s going to prevent him from playing.”
The summer signing picked up his fifth yellow card of the season during the 7-0 defeat to Manchester City, meaning he will have to sit out the visit of Arsenal.
Diego Llorente, Jamie Shackleton, Liam Cooper, Raphinha, Rodrigo and Tyler Roberts are all on four yellow cards, with the mid-season cut-off coming at full-time of the 19th match of the season, which is currently scheduled to be the Boxing Day trip to Anfield to face Liverpool