By Craig Scott

2nd Dec, 2021 | 2:10pm

Patrick Bamford and Luke Ayling start: Leeds United predicted XI v Brentford

Marcelo Bielsa is predicted to make three changes to the Leeds United starting line-up ahead of their clash with Brentford at Elland Road on Sunday.

Luke Ayling and Patrick Bamford are set for long-awaited returns to the side after they both played for the Under-23s on Monday while Rodrigo could also make his way back into Bielsa’s starting line-up.

Mateusz Klich and Tyler Roberts could be axed by Bielsa for what is no doubt a massive game against the Bees while Pascal Struijk is an injury doubt and may miss out regardless of his fitness due to Ayling’s return.

Illan Meslier is predicted to start in goals again behind a familiar-looking back-four of Ayling, Diego Llorente, Liam Cooper and Stuart Dallas, who is likely to move over to the left-back position with Struijk dropping out.

Struijk had a shocker against Crystal Palace on Tuesday night before he was substituted off with a knock, which makes him a doubt to play versus Brentford [Ben Dinnery].

Adam Forshaw’s stunning form means he’s probably going to partner Kalvin Phillips in the middle of the park with Klich missing out.

Leeds’ attack could then see a couple of changes with Rodrigo returning to the side, Raphinha and Daniel James starting out with and Bamford replacing Roberts as the centre-forward.

It has been almost three months since last lined up with Bamford and Ayling in their side but finally, after such a long wait, Bielsa’s men are getting back to full strength ahead of what is a massive festive fixture schedule.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay has dropped a bombshell verdict on Bielsa’s future at the club.