Leeds United and Derby County are competing for the final play-off spot to Wembley
TalkSport pundit Matt Murray expressed his surprise when being told that Kemar Roofe will miss Leeds United’s second leg play-off semi-final encounter against Derby County on Wednesday night.
Frank Lampard’s side travel to Elland Road one goal behind and knowing that they must put the ball into the back of the net if they are to make anything of this tie.
But Marcelo Bielsa confirmed that striker Roofe, who scored the only goal of the game at Pride Park, will miss the return leg because of a calf injury, as reported by The Yorkshire Evening Post.
Speaking to The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show on TalkSport (14/05/2019 at 9:50 am), Murray shared his thoughts on the up and coming showdown at Elland Road and the devastating news about Roofe from Leeds’ perspective.
“With Leeds winning the away leg then going back to Elland Road, you do fancy Leeds,” Murray told TalkSport. “Credit Bielsa. I was concerned for Leeds because mentally they could have been thinking ‘hang on we have thrown it away here’.
“[But] they have got their energy levels back up. Bielsa has got them back it. Earlier on in the season, Leeds were absolutely outstanding. Credit to them they went there [to Derby], the penalty decision was a big moment. But I just think the Elland Road fans behind them, the energy they have got. The ball in for Kemar Roofe was absolutely fantastic.
On being told Roofe is out injured: “Is he?! Oh wow! What a big miss that is. Will Bamford be back? If Bamford’s back that’ll be big for them – but if Derby can get an early goal then the home fans might get a little nervous. If they [Leeds] start well they’ll be too much for Frank Lampard’s side.”
There is no doubt that Roofe is going to be a big miss for Bielsa’s side because he has been their best forward this season, but injuries have played a part in him struggling to showcase his true worth.
But the Leeds players will be backing themselves to see off the tie and reach Wembley for the first time in over 10 years. A clean sheet would suffice for the home team.
The team that qualifies for that Wembley final later on this month will meet Dean Smith’s Aston Villa after they beat Midland rivals West Brom on penalties in a nervy semi-final at The Hawthorns on Tuesday night.
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