Leeds United are expecting Liam Cooper to return to their team against Arsenal on Sunday, according to their latest injury update.

Leeds United's US head coach Jesse Marsch gestures to supporters on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Manchester City at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on April 30, 2022. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Leeds United’s US head coach Jesse Marsch gestures to supporters on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Manchester City at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on April 30, 2022. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch confirmed five players will miss their trip to Arsenal, but they’re likely to get two back.

Notably, club captain Liam Cooper looks ready to start to the starting side.

“Liam Cooper trained today, Diego (Llorente) trained today, so other than five guys (Stuart Dallas, Patrick Bamford, Tyler Roberts, Adam Forshaw, and Crysencio Summerville) we should have our full complement of players,” Marsch said.

“I actually think that Liam will play. He’s fully trained today and felt good, so I think he will be available.”

Unfortunately, Cooper’s return to the defence looks like bad news for Arsenal. Back in December, Leeds were coming off the back of two consecutive clean sheets when Cooper got injured.

They then went 16 Premier League games without a clean sheet in his absence, before keeping two in three games on his return, and then losing 4-0 when he was out again last weekend.

Those facts obviously may not be entirely correlated, but it’s certainly true that Leeds’ defence has been significantly weaker without Cooper in it.

Overall, Leeds have conceded 21 goals in the 17 games Cooper has completed this season, and 49 goals in the 16 he missed.

In the only game he came off early (vs Brentford in December), the scores were level at 0-0 when he came off, and it ended 2-2.

LEEDS, ENGLAND: Diego Llorente of Leeds United on the ball during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Southampton at Elland Road on April 02, 2022. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
LEEDS, ENGLAND: Diego Llorente of Leeds United on the ball during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Southampton at Elland Road on April 02, 2022. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

In a game where Arsenal need the three points, they’ll have to hope they can make it just the second game in six where Leeds have conceded a goal with Cooper completing the match.

On the upside, Arsenal have at least had some good news of their own on the injury front.

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