Pablo Hernandez available for Leeds United as Marcelo Bielsa names Norwich City line-up

Pablo Hernandez has been passed fit for Leeds United’s top-of-the table encounter with Norwich City after shaking off the niggle which forced his substitution at Rotherham United last weekend.

Thursday, 31st January 2019, 3:06 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st January 2019, 3:13 pm
Leeds United playmaker Pablo Hernandez.

Hernandez was replaced in injury-time during Leeds’ 2-1 win at the New York Stadium but has trained as normal and will start Saturday’s pivotal fixture at Elland Road.

The game brings together the top two clubs in the Championship and victory would move leaders United six points clear of the rest of the division with 16 games to play.

Hernandez has been a driving force behind Marcelo Bielsa’s compelling first season as head coach, weighing in with seven goals and 11 assists, but he was an early doubt for the visit of Norwich following a tight Yorkshire derby at Rotherham.

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Bielsa had intended to replace Tyler Roberts with young defender Leif Davis in the third minute of stoppage-time but took Hernandez off instead after the Spaniard signalled to the bench that he was struggling.

Bielsa, though, allayed any fears of Hernandez missing the Norwich game as he again spelled out his planned starting line-up at Thorp Arch today, saying: “He trained normally”.

Bielsa is set to make two changes to the side which started against Rotherham, with Pontus Jansson returning from a one-match to replace Kalvin Phillips in the centre of defence.

Roberts will also be given his first league start since October having stepped off the bench at half-time to help turn around a 1-0 deficit at Rotherham.

Left-back Barry Douglas his back from injury and will be on the bench this weekend but Izzy Brown will be given more development squad outings before coming into Bielsa’s thoughts and Gaetano Berardi, Patrick Bamford and Stuart Dallas are all short of fitness.

Dallas could be out for six weeks having suffered a fresh injury in training, little over a week after returning from a fractured foot.

Bielsa said: “He has a problem in his foot. It’s a new problem, linked to bone stress. He will need complete rest for 10 days and then we will see how long he will be out for.”