By Pranav Shahaney

9th Jan, 2022 | 9:40am

Phil Hay: Lewis Bate and Sam Greenwood set to start for Leeds United v West Ham

Leeds United duo Lewis Bate and Sam Greenwood are in line to feature v West Ham later today (January 9) in the FA Cup, according to Phil Hay.

In his pre-game Q&A for The Athletic, Hay claims that few of the academy players could be handed a chance against the Hammers.

Of those, he has tipped Bate and Greenwood to feature as they have been on the fringes for the last weeks.

He wrote, “I’m expecting to see a few of the youngsters involved. Sounds like Bate and Greenwood might get a chance this afternoon.

“Bielsa was talking about priorities on Friday and you can’t deny that with this many injuries, the league has to take precedence.”

Good move

The FA Cup is a free hit anyway and nobody realistically expects Leeds to make it to the latter stages of the competition.

With the number of injuries in the squad, Bielsa would be silly to play a full-strength team for this one.

This is an ideal opportunity for him to gauge few of the younger players and see if he can count on them in the future.

Bate and Greenwood play in midfield and attack – two positions the Whites have been ravaged with injuries this term.

Kalvin Phillips and Patrick Bamford have both missed several weeks of action in the 2021/22 campaign.

While signing a midfielder seems to be the priority in January, it is important for Bielsa to be able to rely on his bench strength.

Bate has been impressing for the Under-23s so it will be interesting to see how he fares against a Premier League side.

In other Leeds United news, an ‘Excellent’ Whites player appears set for the exit door amid a major transfer development this week