By Noel Whelan

6th Nov, 2021 | 9:00am

Firpo tipped to start for Leeds v Leicester after confirmed news - Whelan

Noel Whelan has tipped Junio Firpo to return to the Leeds United starting XI against Leicester City if Jamie Shackleton is not fit to play.

The former Leeds striker and club ambassador, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested Stuart Dallas could move over to replace the 22-year-old at right-back.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference (5th November), Marcelo Bielsa refused to confirm Shackleton’s availability for Sunday’s clash against the Foxes.

He insisted he would assess both the academy product and Firpo ahead of the game.

Luke Ayling is still out injured after surgery.

Shackleton limped off injured against Norwich City.

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Meanwhile, Firpo has sat out Leeds’ last four games through injury.

He played in the under-23s’ 4-2 defeat to Arsenal last week.

Whelan suggested the summer signing could make his first start in five games against Leicester.

Asked who he thought could take Shackleton’s place if injured, Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Well, you’ve got to look at Stuart Dallas.

“He’s your natural go-to. I think Firpo’s going to be okay this week. He’ll slot back into the left-back role.

“You look at Stuart Dallas, would you want to pull him out midfield? Probably not, because he gives you so much energy in and great link-up play. I think he enjoys playing that role.

“But he also knows that his versatility is always called upon. He probably would be the next best fit for that right wing-back area.”

Firpo has played eight times for Leeds since joining from Barcelona.

Teenage defender Cody Drameh replaced Shackleton from the substitutes’ bench against Norwich last week.

In other news, Whelan dazzled by Leeds United starlet “just like Dallas” as footage emerges.