Leeds United vs Arsenal press conference details and Patrick Bamford question for Jesse Marsch

Leeds United travel to Arsenal on Sunday for what is a game of huge significance for both Jesse Marsch and Mikel Arteta.

By Graham Smyth
Friday, 6th May 2022, 6:33 am

The Gunners are chasing a Champions League spot, while Marsch and his Whites are trying to stay in the Premier League as the campaign grinds to a nerve-shredding halt.

Marsch will sit down with the press at Leeds' Thorp Arch training ground today at 1pm and here's what's on the agenda.

BIG QUESTIONS

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RISK REWARD - Jesse Marsch and Leeds United may be faced with a difficult Patrick Bamford decision as the Premier League season nears its conclusion. Pic: Getty

Will Liam Cooper be fit for Sunday?

The Whites captain limped out of the warm-up before last weekend's defeat to Manchester City and given his performances in the previous two games, would be a big miss for this one if he doesn't make it. Marsch was optimistic last Saturday night and will provide an update before the game at the Emirates.

How is Stuart Dallas?

Having undergone surgery earlier this week for a femoral fracture Dallas is looking at a lengthy period out of the game and Marsch may add some context and detail as to just how long Leeds can expect to be without the versatile Northern Irishman.

Is Patrick Bamford back on the grass?

The striker was due to return to training on the grass this week and Leeds could really do with the striker. Arsenal will surely come too soon but if Leeds can get a few minutes out of him in the last four games it could prove decisive. The lack of natural centre forward has cost them on too many occasions during Bamford's various injury issues. Taking risks with him hasn't paid off in the past - he had to come off at Wolves early on, costing Marsch a substitution - but there may be a balancing act for Marsch and the medical team in the next fortnight, given the situation and the fact that Bamford will want to contribute.

Any new knocks?

Leeds can scarcely afford to lose anyone else, with Adam Forshaw, Dallas, Tyler Roberts, Crysencio Summerville, Bamford and potentially Cooper out of action. Diego Llorente clearly wasn't fit enough to play a part last weekend either. It's an all-hands-to-the-pumps job from here on in and niggles might have to be played through.

When will Joffy start?

Leeds supporters are almost united in their desire to see Joe Gelhardt get a chance from the start. Niggles have prevented him from building momentum but he has made things happen when Marsch has used him off the bench. The Daniel James experiment has not worked to a satisfactory degree and with Bamford still struggling, could it be the time to unleash Gelhardt again?

Which shape works best?

Does Marsch stick with the five at the back system that made its debut against Manchester City or revert to four at the back?

EXPECT TO HEAR

Confidence. Optimism. Positivity. Clarity. Marsch is incredibly upbeat, even after defeats, and he can do nothing else but remain positive as Leeds enter a crucial time. Respect for Arteta and maybe an anecdote relating to the Gunners boss or his club.

DON'T EXPECT TO HEAR

Pessimism. The exact line-up or formation. He might well talk up the positives of the new system he used last weekend but he won't give it away to make Arteta's live easier. He has been free and easy with information since arriving yet there's no way he comes out and confirms who will be starting. Any advantage that can be gained must be chased.