By MOT Leeds News speaking to Paul Robinson

7th Jan, 2022 | 7:40am

Patrick Bamford may return to Leeds United XI v West Ham - pundit

We’re delighted to welcome former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson as our exclusive columnist as each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Leeds United...

Patrick Bamford could be in the Leeds United starting line-up to play against West Ham on Sunday, according to Paul Robinson.

Marcelo Bielsa’s men face a double-header at the London Stadium this week and next week with an FA Cup Third Round clash first up for the Whites.

Last week, Bielsa suggested that Bamford, 28, is in the running to return from his injury in one of those matches against the Hammers.

Bamford didn’t play against Burnley last weekend but Bielsa has confirmed that the striker has recovered from his injury and is short of match fitness.

Robinson feels this FA Cup game, which isn’t a priortity for Leeds, is a perfect chance for Bamford to get himself back up to speed.

Speaking to MOT Leeds News, Robinson said: “I don’t think the FA Cup is a priority this season.

Yes, they had a great result against Burnley but they’re still in a relegation battle when you look at the table.

Leeds’ number one priority is staying in the league this season so I don’t think they should prioritise the West Ham game this weekend.

If Patrick Bamford needs game-time then manage him through the game and give him the minutes that he needs.

Experts are there at the club, the manager’s got all his staff around so they’ll know what level he’s at and whether he can get back on the pitch.

After the amount of time that he’s been out, there’s no harm in giving him the minutes that he needs. But don’t put out a full-strength side to try and get a result at West Ham – I just don’t think it’s a priority for Leeds this season.”

Since taking charge of Leeds in 2018, Bielsa has never won an FA Cup match, losing all three of the Third Round matches that he’s managed.

QPR, Arsenal and, last season, Crawley Town have all knocked Bielsa’s teams out of the FA Cup.

In other Leeds United news, a non-league club has mocked Aston Villa over their interest in Kalvin Phillips.