'I'm absolutely certain' – Phil Hay delivers big fitness update on Phillips & Llorente v Arsenal
Both Kalvin Phillips and Diego Llorente could be fit for Leeds United for Sunday’s game against Arsenal, according to Phil Hay.
The Athletic journalist said he is “absolutely certain that [Kalvin] Phillips will be banging on the door and demanding to play”.
And he said that Llorente could be available after taking part in light training at Thorp Arch over the international break.
Talking on the latest episode of the Phil Hay Show podcast Hay said, “This was the first game that they were hoping Phillips might be fit for after his ligament injury in his shoulder.
“The club initially said six weeks but Bielsa was more unequivocal and was clearly thinking it might not take so long.
“I think there’s probably a fair chance and I’m absolutely certain that Phillips will be banging on the door and demanding to play this week.
“It will come down to how Bielsa feels about him and how he feels about risking him.”
Hay said that Rodrigo should be available for the game after suffering from Covid-19 and claimed Diego Llorente could be in contention after “doing some running” at Thorp Arch.
Pray for Phillips – but only at 100%
Phillips has missed the last three games with a shoulder injury but had said that he was hoping to play in Sunday’s game.
Talking on a recent COD Twitch stream – caught by a Reddit user – he said he was going to take an injection ahead of the Premier League clash.
We’re sure that Leeds will only risk him if he’s 100% but we don’t really like the idea of players taking injections in order to play.
However, Phillips is a vital player for Bielsa and the last two games – both 4-1 defeats – have proved that.
Getting him back would be a huge boost but Bielsa won’t want to risk him if it means he could be ruled out for a longer period.
Llorente is unlikely to start even if he is fit, despite Leeds’ problems at the back. However, he will provide options for a backline that’s shipped the joint-most goals in the league.
If he had been available, we’re pretty sure he would have solved the Phillips problem, with Robin Koch freed up to move into the holding midfield role.
Losing both Llorente and Phillips at the same time was a cruel blow for Leeds.
In other Leeds United news, ‘Took my foot off the gas’ – Leeds ace ‘disappointed’ after taking it easy in recent PL clash