By PA Sport Staff
Patrick Bamford could make his first start for Leeds in almost two months after being declared fit for Sunday’s trip to Crystal Palace.
After a succession of injuries limited the striker to just 11 appearances last season, Bamford has also suffered a disrupted start to this term.
His last start for Leeds came away at Southampton on August 13 but he was withdrawn with an adductor injury, and has made only two substitute appearances since.
But head coach Jesse Marsch said on Friday the 29-year-old is fit to face one of his former clubs.
“I think Patrick is fitter and he’s trained well this week, and I think he’s ready to go,” Marsch said.
“So I think there’s a high likelihood that he’ll be ready from the start.”
Bamford’s return will be a welcome boost as Marsch must shuffle his pack given Luis Sinisterra’s suspension following a red card in the 0-0 draw against Aston Villa.
If Bamford plays, Rodrigo could drop back and Brenden Aaronson move to the right-hand side, although Marsch also backed young Dutch winger Crysencio Summerville to fill that role if required.
Summerville, 20, has impressed since making his debut at Newcastle a year ago but all nine of his league appearances to date have come from the bench.
“First of all, it’s worth noting that we feel that Cree Summerville is in the best form since I’ve been here,” Marsch said.
“So he certainly becomes a factor whether from the start or off the bench.
“Even if you’re not in the XI, the most important thing is that you’re ready to come and make an impact off the bench.”
Leeds will be facing a Palace side hovering just outside the bottom three with six points from their seven games to date this term, but Marsch said that was a false position for Patrick Vieira’s men.
“When you talk about the start Palace have had, I think you have to talk about the opponents they’ve had – Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Newcastle,” he said.
“I think if you ask me they’ve played pretty well through that phase.
“It’s a hostile environment down there. Very difficult, they unbalanced us almost the entire match. Tactically we have to be much cleaner.
“(Wilfried) Zaha’s number one. A very good footballer, incredible in transition, clever around the goal. If you pay too much attention to him then (Odsonne) Edouard can have a big match. There’s so much attacking talent in this team.
“We need to manage specifically when we have the ball that they’re not getting out in transition and hurting us. We feel we’ve created a good match-plan.”