By Mark Smith

14th Dec, 2020 | 4:00pm

Newcastle handed major fitness boost for Leeds clash as defender confirms return

Newcastle have been handed a major fitness ahead of their Premier League clash with Leeds United on Wednesday evening.

The Magpies have struggled with a COVID-19 outbreak and still didn’t have their full squad available for their win over West Brom.

Steve Bruce was hoping to welcome one or two players back to his squad for the trip to Elland Road, with Leeds set to be without Robin Koch and Diego Llorente.

One defender who will return is Federico Fernandez.

The Argentine enforcer has confirmed on his personal Instagram account over the weekend that he has returned to training ahead of the clash.

“Nice to be back with the team after recovering from the COVID,” he wrote.

Newcastle only had one central defender available to them against the Baggies in their 2-1 victory and were forced to use Isaac Hayden in a deeper role than usual.

Ciaran Clark was the only defender starting, with the likes of Fabian Schar and Jamaal Lascelles notable absences at St James’ Park.

Fernandez coming back is a huge boost for Newcastle.

The one game you wouldn’t want to be thrown into though is against Leeds. The Whites will not stop running and have one of the Premier League’s best-pressing forwards in Patrick Bamford.

Bruce could stick with the side that beat West Brom, but they were caused plenty of problems by the struggling Albion.

Newcastle kept less of the ball, and let the away side have 13 attempts on their goal according to WhoScored.

This is exactly the type of game that the Whites need at this stage of the season, and they must take advantage – regardless of this fitness boost.

In other Leeds United news, Whites are in the hunt for this EFL defender who has been impressing scouts

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