By Noel Whelan

4th Dec, 2021 | 11:00am

Leeds employee verdict on Bamford starting for Leeds v Brentford after 'massive' news

Noel Whelan has tipped Marcelo Bielsa to start Patrick Bamford on the Leeds United bench against Brentford on Sunday.

The former Leeds striker and club ambassador, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted he would be “very surprised” if the Argentine makes any changes the starting XI who beat Crystal Palace.

Speaking at his press conference on Friday (3 November), Bielsa confirmed he expects to have Bamford, as well as Luke Ayling, available after their respective injury layoffs.

Bamford has missed Leeds’ last nine Premier League games with an ankle problem.

However, despite his return to fitness, Whelan suggested Tyler Roberts would retain his place in the centre-forward role against Brentford.

Asked if he thought Roberts would start ahead of Bamford, Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Yeah, I think so. When you’ve had long-term injuries and you’re off the back of a win, it’s very difficult to change the side.

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“You’re talking about precaution, it’d be a big lift having him on the bench anyway, I think, for the players. That usually, generally, pushes people that little bit more.

“So Tyler needs to put in another shift, another good performance, try and get on the scoresheet or an assist minimum. I think that’s what you’re looking for from your centre forward.

“It’s that product where I sometimes think Tyler lacks. The energy was there, the link-up play was there and he’d have loved a goal.

“That is what Tyler needs to start bringing into his game. If Tyler can do that, that’s going to put real pressure on Patrick.

“I just think having Luke Ayling and Patrick Bamford possibly on the bench will be a massive lift and a plus point for the team.

“They’re fit and ready, if needed. It gives us more options again. I’d be very surprised if Patrick starts.”

Bamford scored once in five Premier League appearances this season before his injury.

Leeds only failed to score in two of the nine games he missed.

In other news, injury expert suggests Bielsa not telling “full story” after shattering Robin Koch update at Leeds United.