Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa admitted it was a blow that Jack Harrison was not available to face his parent club Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
City winger Harrison, in his third season on loan, has regained some of his best form in Leeds’ two previous matches. Harrison’s first goal in Yorkshire’s home win over Sheffield United last week was his seventh Premier League goal of the season, as he recorded five assists.
He currently sits above England pair Mason Mount and Phil Foden in the Premier League goals and assists table.
“We would have hoped to count on him”, Bielsa mentionned. “Especially since his last performances were good, but we knew the rule that prevented him from playing.
“As in all positions, we have more than one option and we are in a position to replace it.”
Bielsa said he was otherwise happy that everyone in his first team except Adam Forshaw was fit and available.
“Yes, we are happy to have no injuries at the moment given that three quarters of the season has passed. It’s very good, ”he said.
Leeds have only won once against a Premier League top-six team this season – at Leicester in January. With that in mind, the Argentine hopes to improve this record.
“It’s a reality,” he added. “It’s our goal to change that.
“There are a lot of teams in a similar position to us that were able to beat the top six. This means that it is possible and that we have not yet succeeded in achieving it.
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Bielsa is silent on Harrison’s replacement
Leeds produced one of their best performances of the season holding City to a 1-1 draw at home in October. Signing of the record Rodrigo scored his first goal for Leeds to cancel Raheem Sterling’s opener.
Ezgjan Alioski started in Harrison’s absence in this game, but Bielsa has given little to say about his plans for Saturday.
“The wingers that make up our squad other than Harrison – Helder Costa and Alioski – will play this position in a different way and they have different strengths to show what they can do,” said Bielsa.
“But we’re still looking for the same thing, that they attack, take the behind and defend the necessary amount.”
Pep Guardiola’s town has a 14-point lead at the top. They only need 11 points from their remaining seven games to be crowned champions for the third time in four years.
Leeds are undefeated in their last three games and sit in 11th place as they try to end their first Premier League season in 16 years in the top half of the table.
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