Leeds United attacker makes full return from injury but quintet out with four changes at Arsenal

Whites boss Javi Gracia has made four changes to his Leeds United side for Saturday afternoon’s showdown against Premier League leaders Arsenal at the Emirates.
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Italian teenage forward Willy Gnonto and Austrian defender Max Wober both started in the 4-2 win at Wolves before the international break but the duo suffered injuries representing their countries during the international break.

But Weston McKennie and Patrick Bamford also drop out of the XI that lined up at Molineux as Crysencio Summerville, Luis Sinisterra, Pascal Struijk and Rasmus Kristensen all come into the side. Colombian international attacker Sinisterra has not started since lining up in the 2-2 draw at Manchester United at the start of February in which he hobbled off with a muscular injury.

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Kristensen, meanwhile, is set to partner Marc Roca in centre-midfield behind a front four of Jack Harrison, Summerville, Sinisterra and Brenden Aaronson as attackers Bamford, Rodrigo and Georgino Rutter are all named on the bench.

USA international midfielder Tyler Adams is another player out injured for Leeds following surgery on a hamstring injury and he joins Gnonto (ankle), Wober (hamstring), Adam Forshaw (hip) and Stuart Dallas (femoral fracture) on the sidelines. Whites captain Liam Cooper stays on the bench, alongside McKennie and Bamford after they drop out of the side.

Rodrigo also remains on the bench as he works his way back to full fitness. The top scorer suffered bone and ligament damage to his ankle in January’s FA Cup clash at Accrington. Rodrigo was given 23 minutes off the bench at Wolves having returned one week earlier as a 66th-minute substitute in the 2-2 draw at home to Brighton.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has made one change to his Arsenal side for whom Brazilian international star striker Gabriel Jesus makes his first start since November following his recent return from injury.

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Jesus takes the place of England international ace Bukayo Saka who has been struggling with illness over the last couple of days.

START: For Leeds United winger Luis Sinisterra. Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images.START: For Leeds United winger Luis Sinisterra. Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images.
START: For Leeds United winger Luis Sinisterra. Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images.

Arteta told arsenalfc.com: “Bukayo wasn’t able to train yesterday as he wasn’t well but today he feels a little bit better so we’ve put Gabby in. He brings a lot of energy, quality, movement and chaos. He’s a player we’ve been missing and it’s good to have him back.”

Thomas Partey starts despite having missed the second of two Ghana games against Angola during the international break due to injury. William Saliba is out injured along with former Whites loanee Eddie Nketiah and longer term absentees Mohamed Elneny and Takehiro Tomiyasu.

Arsenal: Ramsdale, White, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard, Trossard, Martinelli, Jesus. Subs: Turner, Tierney, Walters, Kiwior, Jorginho, Smith Rowe, Vieira, Nelson, Saka.

Leeds United: Meslier, Ayling, Koch, Struijk, Firpo, Roca, Kristensen, Harrison, Summerville, Sinsterra, Aaronson. Subs: Robles, Cooper, Gyabi, Gray, Greenwood, McKennie, Rodrigo, Rutter, Bamford.