Leeds United captain Liam Cooper joins Diego Llorente on injury list after Scotland setback

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LEEDS United captain Liam Cooper and fellow Whites centre-back Diego Llorente have both picked up injuries on international duty.

Whites skipper Cooper helped Scotland move to within one game of qualifying for next summer's Euros with a dramatic victory on penalties against Thursday's visitors Israel but was then missing from the match-day squad for last night's Nations League clash at home to Slovakia.

Boss Steve Clarke then revealed that the 29-year-old had picked up an injury and would also miss Scotland's Nations League clash at home to the Czech Republic on Wednesday night.

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Fellow centre-back Llorente, meanwhile, has also been ruled out of Spain's final fixture of the October internationals with the summer recruit picking up a muscular injury that has forced him to leave the squad.

MISSING: Leeds United captain Liam Cooper, centre. Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images.MISSING: Leeds United captain Liam Cooper, centre. Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images.
MISSING: Leeds United captain Liam Cooper, centre. Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images.

Spain take in a Nations League clash against the Ukraine in Kiev on Tuesday evening but Llorente will not travel and the injuries to both Llorente and Cooper come eight days before United's return to Premier League action next Monday night at home to Wolves.

Scotland boss Clarke said of Cooper: "Unfortunately Liam Cooper has picked up an injury and he will be out of the next two games."

Cooper had played the full 90 minutes plus extra time of Thursday evening's European Championships qualifier semi-final play-off at home to Israel which ended in a goalless draw before Scotland progressed on penalties.

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United's Spanish international Llorente also played the full 90 minutes of Wednesday evening’s 0-0 against Portugal in a friendly in Lisbon in which he came up against Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Whites centre-back was then an unused substitute for Saturday evening’s 1-0 Nations League win at home to Switzerland which came three days before Spain’s second Nations League clash of the week against Ukraine in Kiev.

But the Royal Spanish Football Federation hen announced on Sunday that both Llorente and international team-mate Gerard Moreno had picked up injuries which meant the duo would be leaving the squad and not flying to Kiev.

“Both players will not travel to Kiev with the National Team,” said a statement from the RSFF.

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“Gerard Moreno and Diego Llorente leave the National Team after training.

“Both players could not finish the work session, suffering from muscular ailments, so they will not finally travel to Kiev with the rest of the expedition for the match against Ukraine.

“The RFEF has informed its clubs, Villarreal and Leeds United of the situation.”

Llorente joined Leeds for around £18m from Real Sociedad last month but the 27-year-old had yet to make his Whites debut with the defender an unused substitute in the 1-1 draw at home to Manchester City before the international break as Cooper and German international Robin Koch played the full match as United’s centre-backs.

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Koch is one of nine senior Whites players currently away on international duty and the German was an unused substitute in Saturday's 2-1 win in Kiev against the Ukraine in a Nations League tie.

Germany still have one game left during the October internationals with Joachim Low's side at home to Switzerland on Tuesday evening in the Nations League.

United midfielder Kalvin Phillips, meanwhile, bagged his third cap for England on Sunday night as he came on as a 66th-minute substitute in a 2-1 success at home to Belgium in a Nations League clash.

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Thank you Laura Collins

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