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Marcelo Bielsa previews Hammers clash and addresses Cody Drameh departure

Bamford BACK? Drameh a ‘deserter’?

West Ham United v Leeds United: The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Marcelo Bielsa spoke to the media ahead of his team’s Premier League clash against West Ham United this weekend.

Leeds United will be looking to ‘avenge’ themselves after they were eliminated by the Hammerers at the London Stadium last weekend. They now return to the same venue and will look to claim the three points.

Let’s take a look at the key points from Bielsa’s pre-match press conference,

Routine Injury Update.

The head coach delivered some good news ahead of the clash and he has a ‘slight’ expectation that three key players out with injury may return to action this weekend.

He said: “Patrick Bamford has not had a new setback. He’s still evolving, his recovery still hasn’t been finalised.

“It’s probable that Pascal Struijk, Rodrigo and Bamford may have options to return (against West Ham).”

Does this current Leeds team have enough firepower to make the result in their favour?

Bielsa was asked if any lessons had been learned from the 2 goal defeat, ahead of the successive match with Moyes’ side currently in a top-four spot.

Bielsa continued: “They [West Ham] are a team that has variants for each position. They have adapted to the absences they have had. They are a team with power offensively and with a very solid structure.”

Bielsa unhappy with Drameh!

Marcelo Bielsa revealed that he wanted Cody Drameh to remain at Leeds United owing to their injury situation but the player pushed for an exit as he wanted to gain game time elsewhere.

Asked about Drameh’s loan exit Bielsa told at the press conference: “No I didn’t think he needed to play games elsewhere.

“He was a player that was very necessary with all the absences that we had but he preferred to go and play outside of Leeds.

“In a situation where the opportunities for the youngsters increase clearly and, in this case, Drameh would prefer to experiment outside of our team,

“I calculated things wrongly because what I consider as a great opportunity, those who are benefiting from that position, they prefer to abandon the club looking for another type of competition.

“And I don’t think it is convenient to oppose when a player does or doesn’t want to belong.”

Club Opening Contract talks with Raphinha amidst ‘Bayern Munich’ rumours?

Asked about the club opening up contract talks, Bielsa said: ‘It’s a great decision. Raphinha’s the best player in the team in all senses.

‘Physically he’s the best, technically he’s at the level of the best, his interpretation of the game is very wise.

Leeds United v Burnley - Premier League Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

‘Within the group of such a powerful nation as Brazil, he shines in the Premier League and he has the attention of all the big clubs in the world.

‘As a result, the decision of the club can only be valued.’

How do you feel about Drameh’s departure? What’re your thoughts ahead of the West Ham game? Let us know on Twitter @ThruItAllLUFC.