By Noel Whelan

19th Jul, 2020 | 1:48pm

Exclusive: Whelan reacts to Leeds starting XI & Poveda inclusion

Ezgjan Alioski is likely to start in place of Helder Costa for Leeds United against Derby County on Sunday, according to Noel Whelan.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds striker and lifelong supporter at Elland Road suggests that the Macedonia international will come in on the left and Jack Harrison will move over the right.

The Athletic’s Phil Hay reports that Costa, who was stretchered off in the win against Barnsley, has suffered a rib injury and admits he would be surprised to see him play any part at Pride Park.

Alioski came off the bench to replace the Portuguese winger on Thursday and Whelan believes the versatile left-footer will come into the starting XI on Sunday.

Asked if he thought the 28-year-old would come straight back into the side, Whelan told Football Insider: “I would say so, I don’t think anybody really covered themselves in glory last night but when we’re looking at going away to Derby, with the personnel, I would say it’s a like for like.

“You could maybe even put Harrison on the right and keep Alioski on the left because Harrison has played there before – he got the goal against Fulham from that right-hand side.

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“He’s got options.” 

Alioski has featured regularly for Leeds this season, with 39 appearances under his belt, but only 19 of those have come among the starting XI in the Championship.

Leeds head into Sunday’s match as league champions after both West Brom and Brentford suffered defeats in their respective matches.

In other Leeds United news, Football Insider can reveal a stunning plan to re-sign Ben White from Brighton this summer.

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