When Leeds United’s stars step out at Elland Road on Saturday lunchtime to take on Newcastle United, they’ll understand that it’s a ‘must win’ game, and one club insider has questioned whether one player who happens to be in great form at present will be benched by Sam Allardyce.
With only two games left to play after the match against the Magpies, against West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur, Allardyce has to get things exactly right in the short space of time he has with the team if he wants them to retain their Premier League status for at least another season.
Given that goals win games, who ‘Big Sam’ has in his attack will largely dictate if they’re able to find the back of the net against an expansive Newcastle side that do give you chances.
They’ll almost certainly need to improve on having scored just one goal in each of their last six games, per WhoScored.
To that end, playing those in form would seem to be the right option, though LUTV pundit and former Leeds star, Ben Parker, believes that Rodrigo, who is the club’s top scorer by a distance per BBC Sport, could be benched in what is the biggest game of Leeds’ season.
“Does he (Allardyce) go with Bamford or Rodrigo? He’s bigged Bamford up in press conferences – saying we need him,” he said on the LS11 podcast.
“You’d back Rodrigo to be more clinical. Is there room for both? I think he will go with Bamford over Rodrigo.”
In such a high-pressure game, surely you pick the players that are going to get you goals, and Bamford only has six this season.
It would be a big, and potentially controversial, call from the manager if he were to leave Rodrigo out again – particularly as he showed his prowess in front of goal against Man City last time out.