By Richard Parks
Leeds United will be without suspended trio Samuel Saiz, Liam Cooper and Gaetano Berardi for Sunday’s Championship clash against Bristol City – and Pontus Jansson could soon join them in the sin bin.
BBC Radio Leeds correspondent Adam Pope reported on his personal Twitter account on Monday night that playmaker Saiz and defensive pair Cooper and Berardi will serve the final game of their respective bans for dismissals against Newport County, Millwall and Cardiff City respectively.
Pope also highlighted that key central defender Pontus Jansson is just a single yellow card away from being stuck with a two-game suspension.
A reminder that Samu Saiz, Liam Cooper & Gaetano Berardi complete their respective suspensions by missing Sunday’s visit of Bristol City. Pontus Jansson remains on 9 cautions which will lead to a two match ban if he collects a 10th by game 37. #lufc
— Adam Pope (@APOPEY) February 12, 2018
Jansson, who is arguably Leeds’ outstanding defender, is on nine bookings, with ten yellows before the cut-off date for which offenders can be pegged with a two-game ban.
Fans have become used to a poor disciplinary record at Elland Road this season, with Saiz, Cooper, Berardi and Eunan O’Kane also seeing red since the turn of the year.
Spaniard Saiz was hitting with a six-match ban for spitting against Newport County, Cooper’s red card in the 4-3 defeat to Millwall for serious foul play carried a standard three-match ban but the dismissal was his second of the season, incurring an extra game.
Berardi was sent off for two bookable offences against Cardiff but has faced two games on the sidelines as it is his second red card of the season, following his straight red against Bristol City in October.
New manager Paul Heckingbottom has stressed the importance of addressing the club’s disciplinary problems since taking over.