A familiar face will return to Elland Road on Friday night when Leeds United will be looking for a much-needed morale-boosting victory.

Carlos Corberan’s presence, albeit in the opposition dugout, will give Leeds United fans cause to reminisce about a glorious era in the not-too-distant past.

The West Brom manager was Marcelo Bielsa’s right-hand man and youth team coach when Leeds United plotted their way back to the Premier League.

Despite the manner of his departure from Elland Road – sacked after a wretched run of results – Bielsa remains a fan favourite and club icon, and by extension, so does his Spanish sidekick, now a manager in his own right at The Hawthorns.

Indeed, Corberan was linked with the Leeds United manager’s job twice this calendar year; first when the club was looking for Jesse Marsch’s replacement in February, and then when the hierarchy was scouring the market for Javi Gracia’s long-term replacement after Sam Allardyce had stepped into the breach for the final four games of the ill-fated campaign.

On Friday night, Corberan will pit his wits against Daniel Farke, the man Leeds United finally plumped for as their new manager, charged with guiding the club back to the Promised Land.

Corberan will get a warm reception when he walks out to take his place in the Baggies dugout. But that is as far as the home hospitality will go. He will not be expected to leave Elland Road with anything more than gratitude for the role he played under Bielsa.

Team news

Farke will have to rely on largely the same group of players who did duty at Birmingham City on Saturday, a wafer-thin, patched-up squad in desperate need of bolstering.

Helder Costa, Wilfried Gnonto and Luis Sinisterra have been exiled from the first-team squad and made to train on their own. They have also been rusticated from the dressing room, at least until their futures have been resolved.

The club is adamant that Gnonto will not be sold. Despite that stance, the Italy international continues to attract covetous glances from suitors, with Everton in particular reportedly keen on his services.

Tyler Adams is on Friday travelling to London to undergo a medical with Bournemouth after Leeds United accepted an offer in the region of £20m for the USA midfielder.

Although Sinisterra has an exit clause, Leeds United are hopeful his future will be resolved one way or another, and sooner rather than later.

A raft of players currently occupy the busy treatment room. Crysencio Summerville, Liam Cooper, Patrick Bamford, Stuart Dallas, Leo Hjelde, Mateo Joseph, Sonny Perkins and Junior Firpo, all remain sidelined by injury.

Joe Rodon and Giorginio Rutter are both pushing for starts after making their contributions off the bench in the defeat by Birmingham City.

Courage in the face of adversity

Leeds United are a club in the throes of transition, and the manager presides over a squad that is very much a work in progress.

What Leeds United need is unity and courage in the face of adversity, and a result to give the club a much-needed lift.

Leeds United, how do I love thee!


I'm Barrie Jarrett, born in Leeds, lived over a decade in South Africa, CEO And Co Founder of Planet Sport Limited and Planet Bet Limited.

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