Leeds United have now been dealt a double attacking blow ahead of their crucial play-off semi-final first leg against Derby County on Saturday evening.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side will still be reeling after blowing their automatic promotion chances, but they must now negotiate the play-offs without some of their key attacking options.
The Whites have known for the last week that striker Patrick Bamford will be banned for the first leg after receiving a two-match ban, but it has now emerged that Tyler Roberts is also ruled out with an ankle injury.
Roberts has featured prominently in wide and central attacking roles during the second half of the season, and his direct playing style will be missed by Bielsa’s side in the play-offs.
This means that much of Leeds’ attacking burden now falls to Kemar Roofe, who is only just returning from injury himself after starting his first game since February against Ipswich Town last weekend.
Roofe has scored 14 goals in his 32 appearances, but has not found the target since Leeds’ last meeting with Derby in January. There is now a lot of weight on his shoulders ahead of the play-offs, and he must quickly get back to his very best with others absent.
The good news is Roofe will still be backed up by an energetic attacking midfield featuring the likes of Pablo Hernandez, Adam Forshaw and Mateusz Klich, so he can expect an impressive line of service.
The 26-year-old has already scored three goals in Leeds’ previous two meetings with Derby this season and the Whites will now be desperate for him to pick up where he left off, even if he is not quite fully fit.