Liam Cooper's return gives Leeds United coach Marcelo Bielsa defensive decisions to make

With Liam Cooper is available after illness, Leeds United should have a full range of defensive players to choose from for the first time this season, but Mateusz Klich must come through their Covid-19 protocols before deciding if he is able to face Sheffield United on Saturday.

Cooper missed the matches against Chelsea and Fulham, and Scotland's March internationals, with illness but is now fully-recovered and available for selection.

If Diego Llorente returns in good shape from playing for Spain, it will hand coach Marcelo Bielsa a welcome selection dilemma. Although Robin Koch did not link up with Germany, he has been able to show his readiness to return from a knee operation in training and with the under-23s, and Pascal Struijk is another option at centre-back.

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“The type of game will have no bearing on who I select because the demands are always similar, no matter who the opponent is,” said Bielsa.

AVAILABLE: But Leeds United captain Liam Cooper faces competition for his central defensive place

“The resources of the four centre-backs have been growing throughout the season and any of them can take up a starting position without any inconvenience. Apart from that Koch, Pascal and Llorente can all play in the defensive midfield position.”

First-choice holding midfielder Kalvin Phillips played more minutes than any England player in this month's three World Cup qualifiers, but appeared to come through them unscathed.

Klich had a much less happy time, missing all three Poland games after twice testing positive for Covid-19, despite a negative test in between.

“There's a protocol that needs to be completed and we'll see what the consequences of that is,” said Bielsa, when asked if the midfielder would be available to face the Blades.

The Whites have reported no fresh injuries.

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