Ethan Ampadu drops major Leeds United fitness hint ahead of Sunderland clash

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The Leeds United man is a doubt after suffering with illness.

Ethan Ampadu appears to have hinted that he will be involved in tonight’s Championship clash at home to Sunderland in a major boost for Leeds United.

Ampadu’s availability for the crucial midweek fixture was thrown into doubt on Monday, with Leeds manager Daniel Farke revealing that he had been suffering with illness. The 23-year-old had not trained since Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Coventry City and the quick turnaround raised questions as to whether he would be fit.

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The potential absence of Ampadu would be a massive blow for Leeds, who are already without first-choice centre-back Pascal Struijk for the remainder of the season. The Welsh international will be fighting to feature this evening and appears confident he will do so, having shared a pre-match graphic on his Instagram story.

The graphic is similar to ones posted by Ampadu in each game he has featured in this season and so suggests the £7million summer signing will be available. The versatile midfielder-cum-defender has been ever-present in the Championship this season, playing every available minute.

That run was plunged into doubt by Farke on Monday, who insisted Ampadu had to be involved in full training in order to be considered for Tuesday’s visit of Sunderland.

“There is a question mark behind Ethan Ampadu who is struggling with illness in the last 48 hours,” the Whites boss told reporters on Monday. "He wasn't available to train with us yesterday or some of today so it will be a tight race if he's available. We have a short session tomorrow morning, he would need to be available for this short session in order to be then in the mix. But there's a big doubt behind him.”

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Farke has already shown a desire to stick with players who might not be 100 per cent, admitting after the 3-1 win over Hull City that midfielder Glen Kamara played through illness against Hull City. Joe Rodon took painkillers to ease a back spasm for that clash as well, while Sam Byram informed the German he could not sprint at half-time.

Leeds will have Ilia Gruev, Wilfried Gnonto and Connor Roberts available again this evening, following the trio’s surprise return in the 2-1 defeat at Coventry City on Saturday. Farke has insisted all three will need to be carefully managed, however, after returning from the March international break with injuries.

That defeat at the CBS Arena saw Leeds’ 15-game unbeaten run ended as they dropped out of the Championship’s automatic promotion places. But the Whites are yet to taste defeat at Elland Road and face two bottom-half teams this week in Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers, with the hope of heaping pressure on Leicester City and Ipswich Town.