MOT View: Massive potential double blow for Arsenal will have Leeds players licking their lips
Leeds United face Arsenal on Sunday as they bid to get their season back on track.
Arsenal have changed under Mikel Arteta since the two sides met back in January in the FA Cup and there’s a renewed focus on defensive solidity.
However, they could lose the heart of their midfield with Mohamed Elneny testing positive for Covid-19 during the international break and Thomas Partey currently a big doubt with a thigh problem.
The two defensive-minded midfielders have started the last two games for Arsenal, one of which was a 1-0 win over Man United.
Partey went off injured at half-time in the last game against Aston Villa. Arsenal were losing 1-0 but shipped another two goals in the second half, with the Gunners all at sea.
Dani Ceballos came on for Partey in that game and while he’s superb offensively, he doesn’t offer Arsenal the same protection in the middle of the field.
Meanwhile, Leeds could be back to full strength, with Kalvin Phillips hoping to be back and Rodrigo fit again after his own positive test for Covid-19.
We expect Rodrigo to come straight back in and his laser-guided passing could rip Arsenal open if they don’t have their normal midfield pairing.
Ceballos only won 38% of his duels in the second-half against Aston Villa [WyScout] and those 45 minutes should be a blueprint for Bielsa in ensuring all three points stay at Elland Road on Sunday.
The Leeds players know they’ve got the firepower to pose Arsenal massive problems and the side has been improved a lot since the FA Cup game in January.
If Partey is out as well as Elneny on Sunday, it could be a party for Leeds at Elland Road.
In other Leeds United news, ‘Phenomenal’, ‘This season could be majestic’ – Many Leeds fans thrilled by official club post