Leeds Enter the International Break Already Rested

Leeds United's Brazilian-born Spanish striker Rodrigo (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Leeds United's Brazilian-born Spanish striker Rodrigo (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images) /

Leeds United has had a strange month of “football”. Most of the Premier League has had an odd few weeks due to the Queen’s death. All the matches were postponed until the second weekend of September.

Leeds was more affected by the incident than most teams as the following week’s match against Manchester United was postponed.

That leaves the only fixture to be played in September for Leeds was the Brentford match at Gtech Community Stadium. The last time Leeds played at Brentford, the following rest was natural and planned as it was the last match of the campaign.

Unlike last season’s visit to Brentford, this was not one to remember. Leeds was defeated at the hands of an Ivan Toney hat trick. Falling 5-2 to Brentford was one to forget and the best way to forget was to play the next match.

Health Benefits

The Premier League campaign was already going to be an odd one with the large break for the World Cup, but recent events have caused even more abnormality. The concern for the health of the players is always the first conversation when a club’s players have international duties.

Leeds have had some players that were coming off an injury and/or surgeries from the summer. Liam Cooper, Patrick Bamford, Stuart Dallas, and Luke Ayling all are coming off a campaign of injuries. Dallas is still yet to return to training.

Ayling came on in the second half at Brentford and contributed an assist on Marc Roca’s goal. Cooper was able to make an appearance in the Carabao Cup match against Barnsley. Bamford has been ably available for most of the fixtures but has had some minor setbacks to regaining full strength.

The break is not ideal for many players and coach, Jesse Marsch, but the time off can provide extra time on the training pitch for players to return to 100%. By October, which is the next scheduled match for Leeds, Bamford should be fully fit for the first time in over a year. Ayling will have had time to build off the Brentford appearance.

Two other important Leeds players with injuries are Rodrigo and Rasmus Kristensen.

Before Rodrigo sustained a shoulder injury, he was scoring goals at a high rate. The timetable for his return would fall into the next match for Leeds. Whether he is available or not, it will allow less time missed for an important player to have a great start to the season.

Kristensen had a minor injury that would have him sidelined for a few weeks. He will have had more than the allotted time to recover by game day. If that was not important enough, Junior Firpo will also be close to full strength with this added rest.

The obvious weakness to the roster was left-back once Firpo went down in pre-season. Pascal Striujk has done an admirable job playing out of position, but Marsch’s system will need Firpo’s skills to work to the fullest.

Must Read. Reviewing Every EPL Club’s Summer Transfer Window. light

The Leeds squad has a whole new look of players that are still getting acclimated to life in the Premier League and Marsch’s style. The time off will certainly allow for more comfort among those players, but the extent of the time could cause rust.

Either way, Marsch will take advantage of having the time and perfect his plan.