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GOAL CONCERNS: Bielsa worried about Leeds United’s lack of goals

GOAL CONCERNS: Bielsa worried about Leeds United’s lack of goals

PA Richard Sellers

Marcelo Bielsa has admitted Leeds United's lack of goals in the Premier League this season is cause for concern.

Leeds have scored seven goals in seven league games and will be without injured striker Patrick Bamford again on Saturday at Southampton.

Bielsa, who was asked if Bamford is key to Leeds scoring more goals, said: “I don’t think it depends on Patrick, we construct our offensive game in a collective manner.

“Of course having a player that converts the chances increases the possibility of getting more goals. You asked me if it worries me, I say yes.

“I would like that we create more chances at goal and increase the efficiency.”

Bamford, second highest English goalscorer in the top flight behind Harry Kane last season, has missed Leeds’ last two Premier League matches due to an ankle injury.

“Both things have a margin for improvement and of course, if Patrick were here, we would enjoy the contribution that he makes.

“But in a parallel way we are ready to be at the same level in the games when he is not there.”

Bielsa is hoping to include Raphinha in his plans at Southampton after the winger marked his full international debut with two goals for Brazil in the early hours of Friday morning.

Raphinha is Leeds’ star performer this season – his second in English football – and played for 71 minutes in Brazil’s 4-1 World Cup qualifying win against Uruguay in Manaus, producing a man-of-the-match performance.

The former Rennes forward will return full of confidence and his absence would be sorely missed at St Mary’s if Bielsa chooses to rest him.

Bielsa said: “Football is a state of your mood, but muscular tiredness affects your performance and puts the players at risk of injury.”

Kalvin Phillips is another key player Bielsa will be monitoring, with the midfielder bidding to recover from a calf strain that forced his withdrawal from England’s squad.

“He has possibilities to play and we will decide between Friday and Saturday,” Bielsa added.

Stuart Dallas and Mateusz Klich are both available following international duty with Northern Ireland and Poland respectively.

Jack Harrison has recovered from a knock that kept him on the bench in Leeds’ first win of the season against Watford two weeks ago and Adam Forshaw is back in contention after a muscle strain.

Defenders Robin Koch, who will have minor surgery in America to resolve a pelvic problem, and Luke Ayling (knee) remain sidelined.


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