Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Marcelo Bielsa has been speaking about Kalvin Phillips’ fitness after he pulled out of the England squad.
Phillips was called up for international duty a fortnight ago, but he didn’t appear for the Three Lions during the break due to an injury he picked up.
James Ward-Prowse replaced Phillips in Gareth Southgate’s squad, and while Phillips couldn’t play for his country, Leeds were confident that he’d be back in time for the Whites’ next game against Southampton.
However, as the game against the Saints draws closer and closer, it’s becoming more and more touch and go as to whether or not the Yorkshire Pirlo will play.
Indeed, Bielsa says he may even decide on Saturday whether or not his star man will be able to play against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
What’s been said?
Bielsa gave an update on Phillips.
“Bamford won’t play. Phillips has chances of being able to do so,” Bielsa said.
The Argentine was then pushed for more details on the 25-year-old, to which he replied:
“Like I said, he has possibilities to play and we will decide between today, tomorrow and Saturday.”
This is a rather concerning update.
Phillips may not play against Southampton, but even if he does appear, there’s a that he’s not going to be at full fitness for this one.
Bielsa’s system is so intense that an unfit player can really struggle and with Hasenhuttl’s side being equally as energetic, this would be a tough game to risk a player who isn’t 100 per cent ready.
Bielsa could make a last-minute call on Phillips, let’s just hope he makes the right one.