SAMUEL SAIZ is set to return to the Leeds United squad for today’s Championship trip to Birmingham City but the Whites will be without Stuart Dallas and Caleb Ekuban while Ronaldo Vieira is a doubt.
Spanish No 10 Saiz has missed United’s last two games with a calf problem but head coach Thomas Christiansen has revealed that the 26-year-old could have played in Boxing Day’s 2-1 win at Burton Albion.
The Dane says he will now “for sure” welcome the Spaniard back into his squad for the clash at bottom club Birmingham but Dallas and Ekuban remain injured while doubts concern the participation of Vieira following the knock he picked up in the win at Burton.
Vieira was the victim of a late and high tackle from Albion’s Tom Naylor early in the second half and, after appearing to run off the injury, United’s teenage midfielder was substituted for Kalvin Phillips with 13 minutes left. Christiansen revealed in the aftermath of the triumph at the Pirelli that he was unsure as to the extent of Vieira’s injury.
“He took an important kick but I don’t know,” said Christiansen, asked about Vieira on Boxing Day.
“When I went in, he was on the bench but I will see.”
Asked about the latest situation with Saiz, Christiansen said: “He could have played but now we can be doubly satisfied that we didn’t force him to come in and he will for sure be there.”
Winger Dallas and striker Ekuban remain longer term injuries for the Whites but both are expected to return in January.
Dallas is still recovering from an injury to his ankle initially picked up on international duty with Northern Ireland in the middle of November and Ekuban fractured a bone in his foot during the 3-1 win at QPR earlier this month and is looking at a six-week absence.
Birmingham, striker Isaac Vassell and Arsenal loanee right-back Carl Jenkinson are both out while striker Che Adams is highly doubtful.
Southampton loanee striker Sam Gallagher, though, is back available after suspension.