By Craig Scott

22nd Dec, 2022 | 5:10pm

Sources: Liam Cooper decision made as Leeds United captain misses friendly defeat v Monaco

Liam Cooper will start for Leeds United when they take on Manchester City at Elland Road next week, MOT Leeds News understands.

Cooper, 31, played in friendly wins over both Elche and Real Sociedad and was substituted off at half-time against the latter.

However, he was nowhere to be seen as Leeds lost 4-2 against Monaco in their final mid-season friendly game on Wednesday night (21 December) and he also wasn’t involved in an open training session at Elland Road on Tuesday (Phil Hay, 20 December).

However, MOT Leeds News has been told by a source close to the player that Cooper will be able to start against Man City when the reigning Premier League champions visit Elland Road next Wednesday (28 December).

He was ruled out of the defeat to Monaco along with other teammates as an illness has swept around the squad at Thorp Arch in recent days.

Cooper has a good relationship with manager Jesse Marsch and is set to lead the team out for their first Premier League action since 12 November against Pep Guardiola’s title-chasing side.

Cooper has played nine times in all competitions for Leeds this season.

He missed the first month of the season due to injury while the death of Queen Elizabeth II delayed his return to action in September.

Since 2 October, he’s played in every Premier League match and even scored in the Whites’ 4-3 win over Bournemouth in the penultimate match before the World Cup in Qatar.

In other Leeds United news, this Elland Road veteran is now unsure whether he wants to end his time at LS11 despite a deal being close across the pond.