Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford

Patrick Bamford may only be fit enough to start on the Leeds United bench against Fulham, according to Alex McLeish.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Rangers manager admitted he would not expect the striker to have fully recovered after being forced off in the 0-0 draw with Chelsea.

Speaking ahead of Friday’s game, Marcelo Bielsa confirmed he expected the 27-year-old to feature after recovering from a knock on his hip.

Bamford limped off after 35 minutes against Chelsea on Saturday as Rodrigo replaced him from the bench.

With less than a week between games for the Whites, McLeish admitted Bielsa may have to spring a “surprise” against the Cottagers.

Asked if he thought Bamford would be ready to start, McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “Well, it’s going to be at a push, I would think. Somebody might have got to step up, it’s as simple as that.

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“I know some of the midfield guys have been in top form, Raphinha for instance, but somebody has to step up to the plate.

“Knowing Bielsa, the way that his teams play, we’ll probably get a surprise. No doubt someone will step up.”

Bamford has started every single one of Leeds’ 28 Premier League games since promotion back to the top flight.

He is the Whites’ top scorer – and the joint-fifth highest in the league – with 13 goals to his name so far this term.

In other news, a top pundit claims Leeds United would be ‘stupid not to’ explore signing Van Aanholt after a big development.