Promotion hopefuls – Leeds’ Snodgrass injury fears eased

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Leeds United have received a boost to their preparations for the coming Championship season after an injury to Robert Snodgrass was revealed to be less severe than first thought.

The club have also announced the signing of Arsenal’s 19-year-old forward Sanchez Watt on a season-long loan.

22-year-old winger Snodgrass is arguably Leeds’ best player and after damaging his knee in a pre-season friendly win over SK Brann in Norway last week, the worry was that he may be out of the side for months, hampering club’s 5/1 hopes for getting promoted to the Premier League.

However, manager Simon Grayson said: “Contrary to reports, Snoddy’s injury isn’t as bad as first feared.

“As ever, we don’t put timescales on these things, but we expect to have Snoddy back sooner rather than later.”

Snodgrass was a major factor in Leeds gaining promotion to the Championship. He scored seven league goals on the way to Leeds finishing second in League One and was named in the division’s PFA team of the year.

Sanchez, meanwhile, is one of Arsenal’s brightest talents and returns to Elland Road after a successful spell on loan last year – while not scoring in six league games he did set up two goals.

Grayson said: “He’s a young and up and coming player who has plenty to offer and his arrival will only increase competition for places.”

Given his pace, Watt could form a good partnership with the more physical Luciano Becchio, who struck 15 times in League One last season and is 33/1 to get the most goals in the Championship this season.

Despite the positive news, Grayson is still without two other key players for Leeds’ opening Championship game with Derby County at Elland Road on Saturday, which the home side are Evens to win.

Defender Patrick Kisnorbo, also in the PFA team of last season, is out until Christmas with an Achilles injury, while new forward Billy Paynter (33/1 to win the Golden Boot) picked up a shin injury at the beginning of pre-season and will be out for two months.

Leeds won their opening fixture of last season 2-1 at home to Exeter. A repeat against Derby is a 7/1 chance. The Rams are 11/4 to win.

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