Marcelo Bielsa ruled out Rafinha’s departure from Southampton’s trip to Leeds, while the winger was ready to start for Brazil just 36 hours before kick-off.
- Rafinha could make his debut for Brazil in his clash against Uruguay
- The World Cup qualifiers will begin in Manaus at 1:30 pm UK time on Friday
- The winger will face a 36-hour turnaround to play in Leeds’ game this weekend
- Marcelo Bielsa’s trip to Southampton begins at 3pm on Saturday
Rafinha is set to make his debut for Brazil early Friday morning against Uruguay in a World Cup qualifier.
The 24-year-old faces a 36-hour turnaround to join Bayesa’s side, who travel to face the Saints on Saturday afternoon, but Leeds The boss says that Rafinha may still be in the running for a league game.
Marcelo Bielsa ruled out ousting Brazil’s Rafinha (left) from Leeds’ game on Saturday
The 24-year-old could make his debut for Brazil as early as Friday morning
‘There’s no doubt it’s a small change,’ Belsa said. ‘The options he has to participate in Saturday’s game depend on whether he plays this final game tonight, the number of minutes he plays, how he ends the game after participating in it. and how efficient is his rest in the next 36 hours.
‘Given that a third of those hours he will be spending on a flight and if there is any risk that fatigue could lead to injury, we would not risk it.
‘There are so many aspects to consider that I cannot give you any certainty by any means.’
Although the government’s quarantine rules have been eased to allow players to train and play upon their return from ‘Red List’ countries while in isolation, some players in the South American Premier League will be allowed to leave this weekend. Being able to play in their teams’ fixtures takes tough changes.
Marcelo Bielsa (left) admits it will be a tough change but insists the winger has options
Several Premier League sides have chartered a private jet to ensure that their South American players return for the weekend.
nine top-flight reps from Brazil And Uruguay will take off shortly after their World Cup qualifier in Manaus, which is scheduled to start at 1:30 UK time on Friday.
Raffinha United’s Edison Cavani and Fred, City’s Ederson and Gabriel Jesus and Liverpool duo Alisson and Fabinho are among those on the chartered jet back.
Gabriel Jesus will be hoping to play for Manchester City 37 and a half hours after Brazil’s game
Fabinho (left) and Fred are among nine top-flight stars called up for World Cup qualifiers
Chelsea’s Thiago Silva and Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz are also traveling home and the possibility of arranging two flights has been discussed, splitting the group based on where their club will play on Saturday.
Spurs also intend to fly their quartet – Argentina’s Giovanni Lo Celso and Cristian Romero, Columba’s Davinson Sanchez and Brazilian Emerson Royal – by private jet ahead of their new trip to Newcastle on Sunday.
Social distancing will be carried out on any flight with all passengers wearing masks.
Giovanni Lo Celso (right) and his Spurs teammates will be on a different jet back to England
Premier League clubs were originally hoping that their stars could be prematurely withdrawn from this fortnight’s games in order to return in time for the season’s resumption.
But their hopes were dashed as Brazil followed Argentina by confirming that their Premier League players would not be allowed to return to England early from international duty.
Brazil head coach Tite said: ‘There was never such a possibility’ [of them returning to England early]. He was called for three matches.
Brazil boss Tite said there was no chance of his stars returning to England prematurely
Bielsa has confirmed that Patrick Bamford is absent due to an ankle injury that has kept him out of the last two Premier League games.
Calvin Phillips has ‘a chance to be available’, Bielsa said, after the midfielder withdrew from the England squad last week due to shin strain.
Bielsa also revealed Germany defender Robin Koch – sidelined since the opening day’s defeat at Manchester United – is currently in the US to undergo a minor procedure to solve a troublesome pelvic problem.
Luke Ayling continues to recover from a minor knee operation, but Jack Harrison, Stuart Dallas, Adam Forshaw and Criscenio Somerville are all in contention.
Forward Patrick Bamford (right) is absent for Leeds’ weekend game with an ankle problem