Leeds midfielder Pablo Hernandez is a major doubt as Marcelo Bielsa prepares his depleted squad for Friday’s visit of Derby, live on Sky Sports Football from 7pm.
Hernandez is struggling with a thigh strain and will be assessed as Bielsa takes stock of a raft of injuries that threaten to undermine the club’s promotion challenge.
Skipper Liam Cooper could return after missing seven games due to a knee injury, but defenders Barry Douglas (muscle strain) and Gaetano Berardi (hamstring), plus Stuart Dallas (foot) are out. Striker Patrick Bamford (knee) and midfielder Izzy Brown (hamstring) also remain sidelined, while Lewis Baker has joined Reading on loan.
Derby boss Frank Lampard will monitor forward Harry Wilson, who is struggling to be fit. Liverpool loanee Wilson missed last week’s FA Cup draw against Southampton due to a knock sustained against Middlesbrough on New Year’s Day.
Defender Scott Malone (groin) remains doubtful, but Lampard has no other new injury concerns. Midfielder Bradley Johnson is hoping to return to contention after missing out altogether since serving a five-match ban.
Leeds – 4-1 winners at Pride Park in August – are looking to complete a league double over Derby County for the first time since the 2001-02 season.
Derby have won five of their last nine league matches at Elland Road against Leeds (D2 L2) – one more than in their previous 35 visits combined.
This is the second time in the last three seasons Leeds and Derby have met on Friday in the Championship at Elland Road – in 2016-17, the Whites won 1-0 thanks to a Chris Wood winner.
Derby haven’t won consecutive away league matches since January 2018.
Leeds striker Kemar Roofe has netted seven winning goals in the Championship this season, a joint-league high along with Norwich City’s Teemu Pukki.
Harry Wilson has scored eight goals in his last 13 Championship appearances for Derby, with four of those strikes coming away from home.
It was probably a good time for Leeds to have a bit of a break from Championship action after two back-to-back defeats, but they are still top of the table and will be keen to bounce back.
Derby took an absolute hiding in the reverse fixture at Pride Park. It was Frank Lampard’s first home game and they were hammered 4-1. He will be desperate for a bit of revenge, and I think his side can grab a draw at Elland Road.
David Prutton predicts: 1-1