By George Hartley

31st Dec, 2021 | 8:19am

Burnley star doubtful and two players ruled out v Leeds

Burnley manager Sean Dyche has confirmed star winger Maxwel Cornet is a doubt ahead of Sunday’s game against Leeds United.

Dyche confirmed to Amazon Prime that Cornet could return from injury but teammates Ashley Barnes and Connor Roberts are set to sit out of the Elland Road tie on Sunday 2 January, as quoted by LancsLive.

The Burnley boss also highlighted that four players have tested positive for COVID-19 but he is hopeful that at least some will return prior to Sunday’s fixture.

Roberts’ longer-term illness, not linked to COVID, and a lengthy lay-off for Barnes were confirmed by Dyche in the interview.

Dyche said to Amazon Prime: “Covid, them two (Pope and Rodriguez), we have also had Josh Brownhill gone down as well and Kevin Long, but they are on their way back so we are hoping two, maybe three of them will be back for the weekend.

“We might get Maxwel back around it, we’ll have to see, Barnesy and Connor Roberts are too far away, but it’s the challenge of what’s happening at the moment.

“Everyone’s got a challenge at the moment, we don’t want to over-egg that, we’ve lost who we’ve lost, and a couple of those will come back, so when they do, that adds to us.”

New Year tie

Leeds will be determined to kick off 2022 with a bang as they face Northern rivals Burnley at Elland Road on Sunday 2 January in this tie.

Bielsa’s men will be relieved that Burnley’s Cornet, who has scored five goals in nine appearances in the league for the Clarets, is a doubt ahead of this tie.

Leeds, of course, have a dreadful injury crisis of their own to contend with. However, with Burnley struggling to field their strongest team, it could make for an interesting affair.

Burnley should be an easy team to beat for Bielsa’s Leeds. The Clarets have only won one match this season – October’s 3-1 triumph over newly-promoted Brentford.

Dyche’s side slumped to a 3-1 defeat against Manchester United yesterday evening and, with their continuous injury and COVID nightmare, they don’t look set to push on and win more matches any time soon.

This is the perfect opportunity for Leeds to grab some important points as they look to leapfrog Everton and move closer to confirming top-flight survival.

In other Leeds United news, a former player hopes for a replication of last season’s “glorious success”.