Swansea City to make late call over striker Oli McBurnie for Leeds United clash

Swansea City will make a late call on the fitness of top scorer Oli McBurnie ahead of their visit to Leeds United.

Monday, 11th February 2019, 2:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th February 2019, 4:01 am
Swansea City striker Oli McBurnie doubtful for Leeds United clash.

The Leeds-born forward, who United took an interest in signing last summer, is a doubt for Wednesday’s match at Elland Road having started Saturday’s 1-0 win over Millwall on the bench.

City manager Graham Potter sent McBurnie on for the final 20 minutes at the weekend but said the 15-goal striker found the appearance “tough” and will take more time to assess him before settling on Swansea’s line-up.

McBurnie has been in prolific form this season, scoring both goals in a 2-2 draw between Leeds and Swansea at the Liberty Stadium in August.

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He was a target in the summer transfer window for former United manager Paul Heckingbottom but went off the radar at Elland Road after Heckingbottom was sacked and Leeds appointed Marcelo Bielsa.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference today, Potter said: “He’s had a period where he’s picked up a few things so we’ll have to be careful.

“He trained lightly yesterday and it was tough for him to come on (against Millwall) but we’ll make a decision on Leeds nearer to the time.”

United came much closer to landing winger Daniel James from Swansea before the recent January deadline but saw the deal fall through in the final hours of the window.

James, who had asked to leave the Liberty Stadium, could start against Leeds less than two weeks on from that debacle and Potter insisted he had no concerns about the 21-year-old’s ability to handle the occasion.

“Players like that, they respond to it,” Potter said. “Certainly the ones who have the possibility to play at a good level, which Dan has.

“At the end of the day he’s done nothing wrong. He was a footballer in the middle of a situation and he’s got nothing to apologise for.”

Leeds are two points off the top of the Championship after their 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough at the weekend and Bielsa’s side have hit a testing patch after two wins in seven games.

Potter, though, admitted he was still impressed by the way United were playing, saying: “They’re up there at the top end of the league and they’re very strong.

“Their form isn’t perhaps as good as they’d like but a lot of the performances have been good.”