By Noel Whelan

22nd Oct, 2020 | 3:00pm

'Absolutely Gutted' - Exclusive: Whelan drops big Meslier claim ahead of Leeds v Villa

Noel Whelan lauded Illan Meslier for his performance against Wolves but warned the Leeds United goalkeeper that he will face a sterner test tomorrow night.

The former Whites and Coventry striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, said that the 20-year-old looked “very assured” on Monday but insists Aston Villa will be a “different proposition” on Friday.

Dean Smith’s side are the only team in the Premier League to have maintained a 100 per cent start to the 2020/21 campaign.

Villa’s frontline, which has been bolstered by the summer additions of Ollie Watkins and Ross Barkley, put seven past Premier League champions Liverpool prior to the international break and followed that up with a 1-0 victory away at Leicester City last weekend.

Whelan expects an open game at Villa Park on Friday night.

“Excellent performance from Meslier again (against Wolves),” he told Football Insider.

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“He still looks very assured between the stick and the shots that he did have to deal with, he dealt with fantastically. Meslier did everything that was required of him in the 90 minutes on Monday.

“He is one of the players at the end of the game that will be absolutely gutted because Wolves did not have many opportunities. It took a wicked deflection to get past him.

“He will be tested more against Aston Villa tomorrow because it will be a much more open game I imagine.

“Villa will be a different proposition. They have more attacking prowess now with the addition of Barkley. They have a good balance in their side now.

“It will be a tricky game for us against a side full of confidence and playing well at the minute.”

In other Leeds United news, McLeish has told Football Insider that Bielsa has a “sensational” player he has barely used this season.