Marcelo Bielsa has surprisingly admitted that he hopes Jack Grealish is passed fit to face his side when Leeds take on Aston Villa this weekend.
Villa have enjoyed an excellent season during the current campaign with Grealish at the heart of their displays, the club captain scoring six times and providing 10 assists to emerge as one of the Premier League’s leading players.
Grealish missed Villa’s 2-1 defeat to Leicester last weekend and remains a huge doubt for Saturday evening’s trip to Elland Road, with Dean Smith facing a nervous wait on whether the influential star will be fit to return to the side.
Leeds manager Bielsa has praised the performances of Grealish this season and has described the England international as a ‘great player’, though believes facing an Aston Villa side at full strength could bring out the best in his team as they look to continue an impressive return to the top tier.
“He is a great player who can unbalance you,” Bielsa told his pre-match press conference.
“But I always prefer that opponents have their best players available because even if that fortifies a team, and makes them more scary to face.
“They’re also a stimulus for us to face such players, to try to neutralise them.”
Bielsa also confirmed that Leeds will be missing a number of senior players with Kalvin Phillips, Rodrigo and Robin Koch all remaining sidelined, whilst Mateusz Klich is a doubt after being substituted in Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Southampton.