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Bielsa takes unique step of naming Leeds starting XI vs West Ham two days early

Marcelo Bielsa chose not to “keep West Ham guessing” when asked as he willing named his starting XI for Friday night’s game.

The Whites host the Hammers at Elland Road with both teams looking to bounce back from defeats last time out.

Leeds’ reverse at Chelsea came at a cost as Robin Koch hobbled off early on and will now have to undergo surgery.

It allowed Spaniard Diego Llorente to come on for his debut, but he is now also struggling and will be absent.

It leaves Bielsa with a decision to make as he seeks a centre-half partner for captain Liam Cooper.

Marcelo Bielsa has named his starting XI

But the Argentine had no issue in sharing his solution as he named his entire starting XI.

It looks as if Luke Ayling will come in to play centre-half, although he did suggest Kalvin Phillips may drop back.

Otherwise it is the same back four with Stuart Dallas and Ezgjan Alioski on the flanks.

Rodrigo will come in for a start alongside Raphinha, Mateusz Klich and Jack Harrison with Patrick Bamford up front.

Bielsa will have to deal with a makeshift back four going forward after revealing Koch is likely to be out for three months.

Robin Koch was forced off with an injury

But despite his lengthy absence the Leeds boss has no intention of adding a new centre-half in January.

He said: “The surgery went well and the length of Koch’s absence depends on the evolution, but he’s likely to be out for around three months.

“It’s a shame to miss him for such a period of time but during a season this is normal for injuries like this to happen to a team.

“We’re not thinking of the possibility of bringing another centre-back into the team.

“And apart that we also expect to count on Berardi from February.”

Where will Leeds finish this season? Have your say here.

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