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Former Arsenal man highlights two Leeds United threats ahead of clash

Brian Heffernan February 14, 2021
Former Arsenal man highlights two Leeds United threats ahead of clash
Photo by Visionhaus/Corbis via Getty Images

Former Arsenal man Alan Smith has highlighted Patrick Bamford and Raphinha as two Leeds United players the Gunners need to be aware of, when writing for the Evening Standard.

Alan Smith has highlighted Bamford and Raphinha as two potential threats for Arsenal ahead of their clash later on today.

When writing for the Evening Standard, Smith said: “Mind you, that’s not to say Leeds don’t have talent of their own. Raphinha, for example, is purring.”

The former Gunner then went on to praise the Brazilian’s performances so far this season and warned of a key battle between the Leeds man and Kieran Tierney:

“The Brazilian is making his job look easy with a silky touch and keen football brain. With Kieran Tierney missing again, Raphinha’s tussle with Cedric Soares could be one to watch.”

Raphinha joined the Whites in October 2020 for a fee believed to be around £17 million plus add-ons, according to BBC Sport.

Which when looking at the 24-year-old’s return already this season, looks a good price for such a talented young winger.

The other player Smith mentioned was Marcelo Bielsa’s current top goalscorer Bamford. The Englishman currently has double the number of goals than his closest rival Jack Harrison – getting 12 so far this season.

The Sky Sports pundit wrote this in his Evening Standard column, when speaking about Bamford:

“Handling the in-form Patrick Bamford might be another key point. Twelve League goals at this point is far from shabby for a striker who has in the past needed too many chances to score.”

Smith also praised the 27-year-old’s latest contribution against Crystal Palace last time out: “But the way he casually took his opportunity against Crystal Palace on Monday speaks of a player on top of his game.”

Photo by Jon Super – Pool/Getty Images

Bamford and Raphinha – two men in fine form

Both of Marcelo Bielsa’s men are coming into this Arsenal game off the back of some fine form.

Bamford has scored and assisted eight times combined in his last 10 outings for the Whites.

His teammate Raphinha isn’t too far behind either, scoring three goals and also getting four assists in his last 10 matches.

Leeds aren’t totally reliant on these two for goals though, Bielsa’s side currently has nine different goalscorers – including Jack Harrison who has scored two more than Raphinha with six so far this campaign.

Arsenal v Leeds – expect a low scoring affair

Despite Bielsa’s attacking style, against Arsenal it seems to cause a low scoring match.

In the last two meetings between the sides there has only been one goal, which is the same amount of red cards.

The last time the two teams met it was a 0-0 draw, however, both Bamford and Raphinha hit the woodwork.

Nicolas Pepe was sent off for Arsenal, but even that couldn’t break the deadlock.

Will the duo score later on today? We will have to wait and see, but one thing is for sure. They’re both more than capable of making an impact with their current form.

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Brian Heffernan is head of recruitment at Horsham FC. He has also scouted for League Two and Danish clubs and worked freelance in the Russian Premier League. Brian’s work includes trialling and signing players and creating detailed opposition dossiers for first-team managers. He’s also a sports journalist specialising in football.