Leeds United have been handed an injury scare after Stuart Dallas sat out training with Northern Ireland on Sunday.
Dallas played 90 minutes in the 1-1 draw against Romania on Friday and his country lines up against Norway tonight in the Nations League.
Northern Ireland boss Ian Baraclough said on Sky Sports, “We just kept them [Dallas and Kyle Lafferty] out of training today just to wrap them up in cotton wool a little bit but hopefully another 24 hours and they will be fine.” [via Yorkshire Evening Post]
Leeds kick off their Premier League campaign with a very tough game away at Liverpool on Saturday evening.
Dallas was outspoken about the timing of these internationals and his words are looking prescient now.
Talking to BBC Sportsound last week he said: “I just can’t help but feel these games shouldn’t be played.
“It’s ridiculous [that the 2020-21 Premier League season is starting less than a week after the international break].
“We have players who might not return until Wednesday or Thursday, that’s two days before Liverpool – it’s madness that they have to do this.”
Dallas fitness a real worry
This is really worrying from a Leeds’ perspective.
If Dallas is being wrapped in cotton wool then there are obvious concerns about his fitness and Baraclough said he hoped Dallas would be okay for Monday night.
Baraclough’s priority is tonight’s Nations League game but that is in direct conflict with what Leeds need.
If Dallas does start tonight then Leeds fans are going to face a nervy 90 minutes with the hope being that he comes through the game unscathed.
Dallas was an absolutely critical player for Marcelo Bielsa last season, starting 45 games.
He played the majority of these games at left-back but has also been used in midfield, with his versatility giving Bielsa real options.
If Dallas is ruled out of the Leeds game then we’d imagine Barry Douglas would come in at left-back but Bielsa needs all his key players fit.
It’s tough to know what we want tonight. If Dallas is ruled out then that’s a worry in itself. If he starts then another 90 minutes could put his Premier League debut at risk.
Perhaps a 10-minute cameo off the bench is the best we can hope for.
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