Well, this is some terrible news.
Both Pontus Jansson and Bailey Peacock-Farrell will not be available for Leeds United for this weekend’s Bristol City match.
Bielsa doesn't expect Pontus Jansson to be available on Saturday. "Until yesterday we thought he would be available but now the game is getting closer I don't have the same optimism. He didn't train with the group." #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) November 22, 2018
Blimey. Peacock-Farrell has a knee problem and is probably out of Bristol City. Bielsa expects that Huffer or Miazek will play. "I can't tell you about the possibility of bringing someone in." #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) November 22, 2018
Peacock-Farrell, fresh off of playing for Northern Ireland, was slated to be dropped from the side in favour of Jamal Blackman, but since the Chelsea loanee broke his leg in a U23 match, Blackman headed back to his parent club and his loan is virtually over. And now Peacock-Farrell is also injured, meaning that Leeds will have to call on either Will Huffer or Kamil Miazek in net.
There is also a possibility that Leeds could get permission from the EFL for an emergency loan for a keeper, since the only fit keepers right now are youth players, but that possibility does seem remote. And let’s be honest here: Given the tension between Leeds and the EFL right now over the TV deal, it will be really easy for the EFL to just say “no” to Leeds.
Jansson’s injury will also test the depth of Leeds. Kalvin Phillips has played in central defence as part of a back three this season, but he’s spent his entire career as a midfielder. Liam Cooper is now the only fit central defender on the roster. Additionally, Leeds are missing Luke Ayling, who is normally the starting right back, but he’s played at central defence a number of times during his career.
If Phillips is to be used in midfield, then Finland U21 defender Aapo Halme will get a chance in the Leeds first team. Leeds had some luck drafting in central defenders to the first team last season, as the play of Paudie O’Connor was a pleasant surprise in the dark days near the end of last season, but he’s currently on loan at Blackpool. Perhaps Halme can come in and play decently. Conor Shaughnessy also played in central defence last season, but it doesn’t appear that Marcelo Bielsa has the same opinion of the young defender as former manager Thomas Christiansen did.
So everything is terrible. No fit senior keepers and only one fit central defender. Bristol City isn’t having a great year, but even they will be able to exploit the injuries in the Leed side. Maybe Pablo Hernandez can play in net?