The Athletic reporter Ian Irving says on the latest Athletic podcast that Robin Koch was absent from Leeds United training last week – and that is why he had been relegated to the subs bench for the 2-1 loss to Manchester City.

Koch, 26, has started 33 of our 35 Premier League games this season – missing only the 1-0 loss to Nottingham Forest, Jesse Marsch’s last game, and then Saturday. Rasmus Kristensen came in for him in the middle of defence.

Kristensen and Max Wober actually did a pretty good job of keeping Erling Haaland quiet. It was Ilkay Gundogan that scored twice for City on Saturday, as well as missing a penalty. The midfield’s lack of organisation let Leeds down.

Indeed, Jamie Carragher blamed Marc Roca for Gundogan’s brace. Koch meanwhile, remained an unused sub and stayed on the bench for the entire game. Irving says he was on the bench because he missed training last week.

AFC Bournemouth v Leeds United - Premier League
Photo by Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images

“Koch I understood missed a bit of training during the week so Kristensen was moved inside for that, but Adam Forshaw was moved into the midfield for only his third Premier League start too,” Irving said, on the Athletic.

Ian Irving says Robin Koch was absent from Leeds training last week

While losing Koch for arguably the toughest fixture of the Premier League calendar was going to be a blow, it is at least good news that Koch was fit enough to make the bench. It surely means that for Newcastle, he will be fit.

Leeds and Allardyce now have a full week’s work to prepare the side to take on Eddie Howe’s men, who come into the game off the back of a poor 2-0 home loss to Arsenal. Leeds will be hoping to take advantage on Saturday.

Photo by STEVE BARDENS/AFP via Getty Images

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