By Michael Brown

23rd Jun, 2020 | 7:34pm

Exclusive: Bielsa tipped to axe Leeds attacker v Fulham amid big Thorp Arch development

Michael Brown believes Pablo Hernandez could make an immediate return to the Leeds United starting XI against Fulham this weekend.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, admits it is “risk v reward” when it comes to the 35-year-old’s fitness after his injury layoff but that he is the sort of player needed to put the Cottagers to the sword.

The Spanish maestro missed the 2-0 defeat to Cardiff City but on Sunday, as confirmed by Bielsa last week, is set to return to training at Thorp Arch tomorrow.

With Leeds set to play host to Fulham on Saturday afternoon, Brown believes that the attacking midfielder could step straight back into the side at the expense of one of his teammates.

Brown told Football Insider: “With a player like him, you’ve got to say you want him on the pitch, you want him in that XI but only the in-house people will know how many minutes, can he be included straight away?

“It’s risk v reward with regards to pushing somebody for one game. I know it’s against a Fulham side who are very, very close, against Brentford suffered a poor result so they’ll be looking to get a result.

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“You’ve got to be ready, you don’t want to lose them for longer. I don’t see too many changes, Bielsa will be trying to limit those – unless he sees something like he freshens it up in key areas.”

Hernandez has played 28 times for Leeds this season, with six goals and six assists to his name.

He was replaced by Tyler Roberts in the starting XI against Cardiff, with Kalvin Phillips also returning after missing the last game before lockdown.

In other Leeds United news, Bielsa has been told to fast-track a never-before-seen youngster into the senior side.