Marcelo Bielsa sizes up Leeds United task at Arsenal but cannot assess prospects of Eddie Nketiah playing

MARCELO Bielsa says he is relishing January’s third round FA Cup tie at Premier League big guns Arsenal to “measure Leeds United’s style.”

Thursday, 5th December 2019, 3:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th December 2019, 3:48 pm
LOOKING FORWARD: Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images.

But United’s head coach insists it is too early to say if United’s Arsenal loanee striker Eddie Nketiah will be able to feature against his parent club.

Bielsa’s Whites will visit the Emirates over the first weekend in January with Bielsa finally set for a test against Premier League opposition as head coach.

The Gunners only sit tenth in the country’s top flight with former boss Unai Emery having been sacked following for a poor run of results at the end of November.

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Former Arsenal midfielder and first team coach Freddie Ljungberg is currently in charge as interim head coach and despite Arsenal’s recent struggles, Bielsa is in no doubt as to the size of the test that lies in store at the Emirates.

“It’s one of the best teams in England,” said Bielsa.

“And of course to compete with them - we are proud of this - and also to measure our style.”

Bielsa’s Whites currently sit second in the Championship with a five-point buffer back to the teams in the division’s automatic promotion places headed by Fulham.

Leeds have another six league games to contend with before their cup clash at Arsenal with Bielsa’s Whites back in action this Saturday at Huddersfield Town.

Bielsa has recently been boosted by the return of United’s Arsenal loanee and England under-21s striker Nketiah from a lower abdominal injury but Nketiah is still awaiting his first Whites league start.

Patrick Bamford has instead so far started every single one of United’s league games so far this season in the lone striker role but United’s head coach has already commented on the future of Nketiah who he hopes will stay with Leeds not just for the rest of the season but possibly also for another season-long loan next term too.

Asked if Nketiah would be able to play against the Gunners in January, Bielsa said: “Nobody can say one month before what is going to happen.”