How Raphinha can get back from Brazil to play for Leeds United on Saturday and complete rapid turnaround for Southampton clash

Marcelo Bielsa admitted the turnaround was short - but Leeds United winger Raphinha can feasibly get back to the UK in time to represent the Whites in Saturday's Premier League clash at Southampton.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 12:26 pm

Raphinha completed a superb breakthrough week on the international stage by netting a brace and a pre-assist on his full Brazil debut in the World Cup qualifier against Uruguay in the early hours of Friday morning (1.30am).

But Raphinha's next club assignment was then very quickly on the agenda with Leeds returning to Premier League action following the October international break with Saturday afternoon's 3pm kick-off at Southampton.

Whether Bielsa opts to play the star winger remains to be seen as United's head coach admitted at Thursday's pre-match press conference that there were many factors to consider.

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RAPID TURNAROUND: For Leeds United winger Raphinha, above, ahead of Saturday's clash at Southampton after excelling on his full debut for Brazil in the early hours of Friday morning. Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images.

"There is no doubt that there is a short turnaround," said the Argentine.

"The options that he has to participate in the game on Saturday depends on whether he plays this final game tonight, how many minutes he plays, how he finishes the game after he has participated in it, how efficient the rest he can have in the next 36 hours is considering that a third of those hours he is going to spend it flying.

"If there is any risk that that fatigue could cause injuries than we won’t risk it. There are so many aspects to consider that I can’t offer you any certainties either way.”

Brazil's game against Uruguay kicked off exactly 37.5 hours before Saturday's fixture at Southampton.

Raphinha played 71 minutes of Friday's contest and was then pictured after the full-time whistle celebrating with Neymar after a display in which the duo proved a lethal combination.

Raphinha then conducted post match press, after which the flight back to England beckoned.

The average direct flight time from Brazil to London is quoted as ten hours and 47 minutes and even the most speediest of journeys would not have the Brazilian landing until Friday evening, even with the swiftest of departures from Manaus which is served by Eduardo Gomes International Airport.

A direct flight from Manaus to Leeds - for example - offers a 12 hour and 25 minutes flight time, six minutes longer than to Manchester which is two minutes quicker than one to London.

It's literally a long old haul but logistically it is clearly possible for the winger to re-join his Whites team mates not just for the Southampton game but on the eve before.

In short, whilst the turnaround is incredibly tight, logistically, the Whites winger can definitely be back in time to feature against the Saints, and the hope would be that the 24-year-old can get ample rest on his flight.

Upon his return, as ever, the call then lies with United's head coach.

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Thank you Laura Collins