July 21, 2024

Daniel Farke has a squad to shepherd through four Championship matches in nine days, with Sam Byram, Jamie Shackleton, Jaidon Anthony, and Luke Ayling major themes when Leeds United face Preston North End at Deepdale on Boxing Day.
Another injury has been added to Leeds United’s medical report ahead of Saturday’s match against Ipswich Town, just as manager Daniel Farke plans to rotate his squad. Four matches in nine days will test his squad over the holiday season, and he accepts the starting XI will have to be modified to keep everyone fresh.

This season, Luke Ayling has been absent from many matchday teams while the majority of the group has been available. It was assumed that his absence on Saturday was due to the same reason, but the manager has revealed an injury ahead of the Boxing Day trip to Preston North End.

While the German is hopeful that his vice-captain will return soon, there could be even better news for Sam Byram, one of his standout players this season. Jamie Shackleton and the versatile defender could yet be ahead of schedule.
“Luke, sadly, had no chance because he had some knee problems,” Farke added. “That’s why he wasn’t on the team.” I’m hoping he’ll be able to return shortly.


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“Perhaps the same with Sam Byram.” Rehab appears to be going well, so I’m hoping he’ll be able to return sooner rather than later. “We’ll see what the next few days bring.”I hope the same for Jamie Shackleton, that he may be an issue in the next games, and that Jaidon Anthony returns soon.”

Farke had initially targeted the New Year’s Day game against Birmingham City or the FA Cup trip to Peterborough United as potential return appearances for Shackleton and Byram. Anthony was left out of the Ipswich victory after reporting to training on Friday with illness.

“Illness usually takes two or three days, and then you’re back in training pretty quickly.” “We need all of the players right now,” Farke added.
In the last five games, Farke has only made one change to his starting lineup. That is a pattern that cannot continue as his players enter the campaign’s most rigorous period.

“We won’t start each and every game with the same line-up with four games in nine days,” he told reporters. “For that, we need all the players in the squad in this festive period.”

Leeds will report to Thorp Arch today for a recovery session for those who played yesterday, a full practice session for those who did not play yesterday, and then travel to Preston on Christmas Day.


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