By Craig Scott

18th Oct, 2022 | 6:10pm

Patrick Bamford to start for Leeds United as Phil Hay predicts early team news v Leicester City

By Jonty Banks

Jesse Marsch should start Patrick Bamford in Leeds United’s pivotal clash against Leicester City on Thursday evening, according to Phil Hay.

The Whites number nine, who has been recovering from a groin injury he sustained in August, once again impressed after being brought off the bench in the 1-0 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday.

Despite missing from the penalty spot, Bamford was instrumental in a dominant Leeds performance which had everything bar a goal in it – but ultimately condemned them to a sixth league game without a win.

On Monday 17 October episode of The Phil Hay Show, Hay claimed that Bamford should start ahead of Rodrigo even though question marks remain over his match fitness.  

“The concern is always when is Bamford going to be fit enough to play 90 minutes after 90 minutes,” Hay said.

“I guess I would say that if you’re looking at the team for the next game and thinking about the lineup for the next game, he comes in, doesn’t he?

“I don’t say just because of Rodrigo’s mistake, I think he comes into it because he looked like the player who turned Leeds into a dangerous animal in the second half.”

Must start

Although the Premier League season still seems to be in its infancy to many, Leeds remain precariously placed above the drop zone after a troubling few weeks.

Despite a number of encouraging performances including a bright 45 minutes against Crystal Palace and the promising display against Arsenal, Marsch and his team will want to turn these performances into points, and fast.  

The 16 attempts they had on Arsenal’s goal on Sunday highlight that Leeds have no trouble creating chances but more so finishing them, and with Rodrigo struggling to find the net following a shoulder injury of his own, the door remains wide open for Bamford’s return.

Although Bamford did miss several chances during his 45-minute cameo, he proved himself a nuisance to Arsenal centre-backs Gabriel and William Saliba, pressing them aggressively and running the channels throughout.

And against the league’s worst defence, and a goalkeeper and back four who aren’t renowned for their ability to play out from the back, this presents the perfect opportunity for Bamford to get on the scoresheet for the first time this season.

In other Leeds United news, this “remarkable” Leeds loanee was hailed by a controversial Sky Sports pundit at the weekend.