Marcelo Bielsa has stopped giving out his starting XI ahead of matches so Leeds United fans are going to have to wait to see if Diego Llorente is given his first start for the club.

However, Bielsa did drop a very strong hint that Llorente will get his full debut on Tuesday night.

Talking in his pre-match press conference on Monday morning, Bielsa was asked about the Spanish centre-back after his triumphant return for the Under-23s.

Llorente scored the only goal of the game in the 1-0 win against Stoke last week.

Bielsa said, “The minutes with the 23s was an aspect that was missing so that he could return with us.

“Llorente has the characteristics of a strong defender. He is a player who is happy recovering the ball and he’s the player who has physical attributes who can help in the aerial game and the physical game on the ground.”

Newcastle is a big game for Leeds.

Both teams are in a real slump, with Leeds losing three-in-a-row and Newcastle still looking for their first win since getting smashed 5-2 by us back in December.

That’s why we’re almost certain that Llorente will come back into the side.

The Under-23s appearance was the missing bit of the jigsaw and with the 45 minutes there under his belt, and two weeks of training, Llorente will be 100% fit.

The Under-23s game today against Wolves has been called off so he won’t be playing for the second string again today.

He’s a lock to be on the bench but we’re convinced that Bielsa’s comments mean that Leeds fans will have something exciting in store for the game at St James’ Park.

Llorente can be the difference for Leeds, who have been playing with a shuffled backline ever since Robin Koch and Llorente were both injured in the game against Chelsea.

We think Llorente will start, with Luke Ayling going on the right and Stuart Dallas on the left. That will see Gjanni Alioski drop to the bench.

In other Leeds United news, Leeds handed triple fitness boost ahead of clash v Newcastle – confirmed


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