Liam Cooper cites Guardiola example as way Leeds can stop Adama Traore
Liam Cooper has warned his Leeds United side to watch out for Wolves winger Adama Traore ahead of Friday night’s clash at Molineux.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side head to the West Midlands knowing a victory will open up a five-point gap over the hosts in the quest to obtain a top-10 finish this season.
To achieve this the Whites must first stop the prodigious talents of the fleet-footed Traore who will be targeting the Leeds left-hand side as an area of weakness with Ezgjan Alioski struggling of late.
Speaking on the Premier League’s official YouTube channel [18/02/21] Cooper pointed to the way in which Pep Guardiola dealt with Traore as a guide, saying: “The man is an unbelievable specimen.
“If he’s got you one-v-one you best get legging it back to your goal because you’re not catching him.
“Obviously we are so man for man it’s difficult to do that but I think Adama is a different test, I think you have to sacrifice the man to man in a way to sort of double and treble up on him.
“I thought Man City did it brilliantly earlier on in the season, I watched that game and they did it really well, as soon as he got the ball there were two or three men. If he beats the first one the second one’s there.
“I think that’s what you’ve got to do because he can be so effective when he gets up to full speed and if he’s in those one-on-one situations.”
The Spain international has not registered a goal or assist in 23 Premier League appearances this campaign, a shocking return from a player who was directly involved in 13 goals last season (nine assists, four goals).
The absence of star striker Raul Jimenez looks to have really taken its toll on him.
The duo combined for 10 goals last season, a tally that has only been bettered five times in Premier League history.
Jimenez has been out injured since November 29 after suffering a head injury against Arsenal and will again be absent at Molineux on Friday evening.
That means Willian Jose is likely to lead the line once again for Wolves but he has failed to find the next in six outings since his January move from Real Sociedad.
Regardless, Leeds must be careful of the explosive Traore who will be hoping this fixture is when he finally catches fire and reminds us all of his breathtaking abilities.
In other Leeds United news, see our exclusive interview with Paul Robinson on the goalkeeper the Whites should be aiming to sign.