Leeds’ Alioski to miss out on Premier League promotion push

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The winger suffered a meniscus injury against Brentford and will not feature for Marcelo Bielsa's side again this season

Leeds United’s Ezgjan Alioski will miss out on the club’s final push for promotion to the Premier League after sustaining a torn meniscus in the away defeat by Brentford on Monday.

The Whites lost 2-0 to Brentford, further damaging their quest for automatic promotion after a 2-1 loss to Wigan at Elland Road on Friday.

Play-off hopefuls Aston Villa travel to Elland Road on Sunday, before Leeds travel to Ipswich for their final game of the regular season, but they will be without Alioski.

Leeds’ director of football Victor Orta put out a statement on Alioski’s injury, saying: “We are disappointed by the news that Gjanni is unlikely to play again this season.

“He has shown his quality throughout the year playing in various positions, he is a popular figure around the club who always puts his team-mates first and sets an example for the younger players.” 

The Macedonian is expected to be out with the injury for six to eight weeks, and he will be a big miss for United, with the winger starting 47 times in all competitions this season, notching seven goals in the process.

Leeds captain Liam Cooper will be available for Sunday’s fixture, however, after returning to the starting line-up in Monday’s game against Brentford, following a muscle injury that he sustained in the warm-up before the Whites' home match against Sheffield Wednesday

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Marcelo Bielsa's side are three points off an automatic promotion spot in third, with second place Sheffield United having 85 points, and league leaders Norwich top with 88 points, despite four straight draws.

Leeds have not played in the Premier League since 2004, and many fans hoped that, with head coach Bielsa at the helm, the club would be able to get back into the top flight of English football through the automatic promotion spots.

It looks unlikely that Leeds will be able to make up the three-point deficit to the Blades, but they could still be the highest-placed team to enter the play-offs, with Derby, Middlesbrough or Bristol City their likely semi-final opponents.