Cooper's injury absence gives Bartley perfect chance to strike up partnership with Bamba

Elland Road

Leeds United will be without one centre-back for their upcoming pre-season friendly in Ireland.

Leeds' Liam Cooper and MK Dons' Sam Gallagher in action

As reported by the club’s official Twitter account, Leeds United centre-back Liam Cooper will miss Wednesday evening’s friendly against Shelbourne with a minor muscle injury, meaning new signing Kyle Bartley has the perfect chance to stake a claim for a starting spot alongside Sol Bamba when the Championship campaign kicks off next month.

Cooper played 41 times in all competitions for Leeds last season, including 39 times in the Championship, so he will be hoping to build on that now Garry Monk has taken charge.

Swansea's Kyle Bartley looks dejected at the end of the game

However, with the 24-year-old unable to kick off Leeds’ pre-season campaign it will be up to Bamba and Bartley to prove they can form an effective partnership in his absence.

Everyone would have been hoping to be fit and available in Monk’s first game at the helm, no doubt wishing to impress the former Swansea City boss from the outset.

Leeds United's Sol Bamba celebrates scoring his sides first goal

Instead Cooper will have to watch from the side-lines and it would be no surprise if new loan signing Bartley lays down an early marker alongside the Ivorian.

Of course Monk will need all his senior Leeds stars at one time or another next season, but for now they will all be hoping to do enough to start the first match against Queens Park Rangers next month.

Swansea manager Garry Monk

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