By Noel Whelan

9th Aug, 2019 | 4:00pm

Exclusive: Whelan claims big-name Leeds trio to be omitted from XI v Nottingham Forest


Noel Whelan has claimed that Marcelo Bielsa is certain to omit star summer signings Helder Costa and Eddie Nketiah from the Leeds United starting XI for tomorrow’s Championship clash against Nottingham Forest.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United striker insisted that Bielsa will also leave Ezgjan Alioski out of his starting XI in what would be a snub to three big-name players.

Whelan is convinced Bielsa will stick with the same team that put Bristol City to the sword in last weekend’s opening-day 3-1 win at Ashton Gate.

Winger Costa, who signed on a £15million loan-to-buy deal from Wolves this summer, and Macedonia international Alioski both started on the bench against Lee Johnson’s side.

“You can’t change a winning side and I don’t expect Bielsa to,” Whelan told Football Insider. “We saw last season that nearly all the changes he made to the team were enforced by injury or suspension.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“When Leeds won, he always picked the same side if everyone was available. Everyone who started at Bristol City deserves to be in the starting XI against Nottingham Forest.

“That means Costa and Alioski will be on the bench again, and it’s the same for Nketiah. It’s up to them to train well and convince Bielsa to pick them. For now, they will have to wait.”

Nketiah signed for Leeds ona  season-long loan from Arsenal on deadline day, just over a month after Costa was captured from Wolves.

Alioski started virtually every one of United’s Championship fixtures last season before a late-season injury ended his campaign.

In the latest Leeds United news, Football Insider can reveal that the club have agreed a deal worth more than £4million in a stunning eleventh-hour coup.