By Noel Whelan

23rd Feb, 2021 | 1:00pm

Leeds tipped to axe Roberts & start 29-yr-old tonight after early team news - Whelan

Noel Whelan has tipped Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa to recall Ezgjan Alioski against Southampton and axe Tyler Roberts.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Whites striker claimed Alioski, 29, was only benched at Wolves as Stuart Dallas is better equipped to combat Adama Traore.

Alioski started 16 consecutive Premier League fixtures prior to the 1-0 loss at Molineux on Friday night.

Roberts replaced the Macedonia international in the starting XI with Stuart Dallas moving to left-back but Whelan was unimpressed by Roberts’ performance.

Speaking to the media ahead of the Saints’ visit, Bielsa suggested Roberts may have done enough to retain his place in the side.

However, Whelan is confident of Alioski’s involvement from the outset.

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“I think Bielsa will bring Alioski back in,” he told Football Insider.

“I think he will take Roberts out and then move Dallas back into the midfield.

“He only brought Alioski out of the side against Wolves because Dallas is more defensively capable than him. When you look at the strength and pace of Adama Traore, Dallas was a better match against him. Bielsa did the right thing. He got it spot on with the personnel at Wolves.

“I think we will see Alioski come back in tonight. If he switches to a three/five we could go Cooper, Struijk, Llorente, Ayling and Alioski. We need to strike the right balance.”  

Speaking on Roberts yesterday, Bielsa told Leeds Live: “The game that he played the other day, should allow him to continue in the team but to consolidate himself in the team he needs to improve.

“He needs to be able to create more danger and generate fear from the opponents.”

In other news, Leeds United have set their sights on signing a Lille powerhouse who was the subject of a £35million bid from Newcastle.