By David Woods

15th Mar, 2021 | 12:08pm

Confirmed starting XI for Leeds U23s v Newcastle

It’s top v bottom this afternoon at Thorp Arch as Leeds United Under-23s take on Newcastle in a Premier League 2 Division 2 clash.

Mark Jackson’s Leeds side need three more wins to confirm promotion and have a 13-point lead over Stoke at the top.

Newcastle are bottom but beat Leeds 4-3 in the thrilling reverse last year.

They could struggle to get anything out of today’s game after a strong line-up was announced.

Robin Koch makes his much-anticipated return, while Joe Gelhardt, Sam Greenwood, Gaetano Berardi and Ian Poveda also start.

It’s a line-up that will likely have the Newcastle players fearing the worst.

The team news was announced on the official Leeds Twitter account ahead of the 1pm kick-off.

The Leeds Under-23s are eyeing the top division after their first season in Premier League 2 and we think it’s a certain three points this afternoon.

The synergy between the Under-23s and the first team is evident today and Marcelo Bielsa will be at Thorp Arch to watch the second string in action.

It’s perfect timing for Bielsa, with the game this afternoon coming ahead of Leeds playing Fulham at Craven Cottage on Friday.

We hope that Koch can come through his return to action without any problems and we’d expect to see him on the bench on Friday.

Rodrigo was subbed as the sub against Chelsea and he’ll be looking to make a point to Bielsa today.

Patrick Bamford went off injured in the Chelsea game and if he’s ruled out for Friday then the number nine spot will be between Rodrigo and Tyler Roberts.

Rodrigo scored two in 45 minutes last time out for the Under-23s and a similar performance today would send a big message to his manager.

You can watch the game on LUTV or on the official Leeds Twitter page.

In other Leeds United news, ‘Liability’ – BBC pundit slams Leeds ace who is ‘not the best’ despite battling 0-0 v Chelsea