Leeds United's Marcelo Bielsa explains his thinking as he chooses between Liam Cooper and Pascal Struijk

With an almost fully-fit squad to choose from, Marcelo Bielsa will try to balance the needs of individual players against that of the team at Burnley on Saturday.

Helder Costa's season has been ended by a back injury, Adam Forshaw has not featured for more than 18 months and youngster Joe Gelhardt has a problem but with captain Liam Cooper fit and free from suspension again, Bielsa has an array of options unusual in such a demanding season.

"Not having injured players shouldn't be interpreted as something difficult but I understand what you're asking," he replied when asked if he faced some tricky choices.

"Having so many options, the decisions become more difficult.

DECISION: Liam Cooper (hugging Luke Ayling) and Pascal Struijk (far right) are vying to be Leeds United's left-sided centre-back at Burnley

"Being healthy is the primary condition for a place in the team. To be ready in a sporting sense is not only to be healthy and have a good physical performance but to transform this into a football performance. We need the practise and you transform that onto the field.

"After 10 days out players start to lose the sporting part. After they spend a long time out, first they are healthy and then they get to good physical levels, then they develop football activities in the training, 11 against 11, and if they're able to perform with the under-23s they also improve their form.

"But a game in the Premier League is above all of that, the demand is a lot higher. You get the fitness to play in the Premier League by playing in the Premier League but also accumulating games.

"To be a starter and not play well is worse than not starting and for the team you have to measure if the quality of the player coming in, with respect to the player coming out, if it's fair, the weakness in their form.

"There could be a player who is better than the ones playing but their performance could be worse because they're still getting a rhythm of play. Sometimes you get two or three injuries in the same position and a player who is out of form has to come in.

"The ideal thing is to harmonise the needs with individual needs."

Captain Cooper has missed the last four matches firstly through suspension following his red card at Manchester City, then a minor injury which stopped him facing Tottenham Hotspur.

In his absence, fellow central defender Pascal Struijk has continued an impressive maiden season in the Premier League.

Choosing between them as Diego Llorente's partner will perhaps be the tightest call Bielsa has to make at Turf Moor.

"I also ask myself this question," said Biesa.

"Pascal has had very good performances and Cooper as our captain has also had great performances but over a long period of time. Both things are valuable.

"This sudden emergence of Pascal and everything Cooper has done establishes a big difference . As you can see, I can't give you a concrete response because I also don't have an absolute idea but what is ideal is that for any one position you have more than one option.

"This improves, Pascal, Cooper and Leeds."

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