AHEAD of Thomas Christiansen’s pre-Preston North End press conference, Lee Sobot looks at a few issues likely to be addressed when the head coach speaks to the media at Thorp Arch on Friday afternoon.
Injury updates on Pennington, Berardi and Green
The opening weekend league win at Bolton Wanderers came at a cost with Gaetano Berardi dislocating his shoulder and Matthew Pennington limping off with an ankle injury. Five days later, there has still been no update as to the duo’s condition and Christiansen admitted the club were still waiting to learn how long the pair would be out for in the aftermath of Wednesday night’s 4-1 defeat of Port Vale of in the Carabao Cup. Rob Green also missed that game with a knee injury but the keeper has said he is “working hard to get fit and back in contention as quickly as possible.”
Leeds are understood to be chasing Hamburg striker Lasogga after missing out on long-time target Ashley Fletcher who instead signed for Middlesbrough for £7m. And it will be interesting to see if Christiansen is prepared to comment on the 25-year-old German target. United’s head coach was quite happy to talk about Manchester United’s Cameron Borthwick-Jackson at last weekend’s press conference, three days before the young defender joined Leeds on a season long loan. The cat was already out of the bag so to speak with Borthwick-Jackson and - to a slightly lesser degree - Lasogga’s name has now been unearthed too. It was pretty obvious that Borthwick-Jackson was coming to Leeds on loan but any deal for Lasogga does not seem quite so close as things stand. Hamburg have declared Lasogga surplus to requirements but the striker’s wages could prove an issue. Hamburg, though, are understood to be willing to compensate Lasogga’s wage to help finance a transfer elsewhere.
Will Pontus Jansson be club captain?
Saturday is surely d-day in terms of finally discovering who Christiansen regards as his main skipper for the new season. The Dane seems quite happy to pass the skipper’s armband around and the head coach has not yet made any statement as to who is this year’s club captain and vice. Indeed, as things stand, Liam Bridcutt remains club captain even though he is evidently behind others in the central midfield pecking order. Liam Cooper wore the armband for the season opener at Bolton with Luke Ayling taking over against Port Vale when Cooper was rested. Bridcutt then took the armband when Ayling was substituted for Madger Gomes. But Jansson, many people’s idea of the obvious 2017-18 captain, finally returns from suspension this weekend. Will he get the skipper’s armband or will that stay with Cooper. And will Christiansen be prepared to comment the day before?