Kevin Phillips has tipped Leeds United defender Diego Llorente to be axed from the starting XI against Aston Villa on Saturday.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Premier League striker claimed there is “no point” risking the 27-year-old after he has suffered with injuries problems throughout the season.

Tuesday night’s 3-0 win over Southampton was Llorente’s third appearance of the season and his Elland Road debut after his summer move from Real Sociedad.

He picked up a groin injury while on international duty with Spain at the beginning of the season meaning he did not make his debut until December.

Llorente replaced Robin Koch at Stamford Bridge but had to wait a further month for his next appearance.

His full debut came against Newcastle United last month but he limped off after just 10 minutes at St. James’ Park.

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“The test will be the next game,” Phillips told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.

“When you’ve gone through that period it’s so important to rest up, you do things right and recover so you’re ready to go again.

“It’ll be interesting to see whether he goes with him again in the next game or he leaves him out and builds him up.

“Leeds aren’t going to get relegated so it makes sense to leave him out.

“There’s no point pushing him after he got through 90 minutes.

Leeds United defender

“The kid will want to play, I’m sure of it, but this is where good management comes in, good sports science, the physios.

“Bielsa will have a chat but I’ll be surprised if he starts the next game.”

In other news, Alex McLeish has delivered his verdict on when Marcelo Bielsa will quit Leeds United after a Sky Sports update.