Former Leeds defender Dominic Matteo thinks Marcelo Bielsa is going to drop Gianni Alioski on Friday.

The Whites host David Moyes’s West Ham, with both sides having lost 3-1 on Saturday.

Chelsea saw off Leeds, while Manchester United beat the Hammers – both coming from behind to win.

But Matteo told the Yorkshire Evening Post he feels Bielsa will go for the defensive solidity of Stuart Dallas in defence, and wants Rodrigo to come into midfield.


“A good start will be important,” said Matteo. “Cooper has to have his players ‘on it’.

“Bielsa might put Dallas back to left-back just to shore things up a little bit because, although Alioski is a good player and so enthusiastic, defensively we have looked very open.

“Against West Ham, I would like us to be harder to break down. Everyone knows how Leeds will play and this will be a tricky night. If Alioski does drop out and Dallas goes to left-back, then I’d like to see Rodrigo in the team

“He has that bit of quality and we’ll need that because, even without fans, it’s so crucial to win your home games.”

Crystal Palace v Leeds United - Premier League
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Matteo’s comments come amid the backdrop of uncertainty over Alioski’s contract situation.

One of his former Leeds teammates, Nigel Martyn, told the Boot Room recently he feels the versatile man is ‘important’ to Bielsa and deserves a new deal.

Dallas has done well in the centre of midfield of late, but Rodrigo has that extra attacking craft.

The Northern Irishman would be tasked with marking Jarrod Bowen if he is at left back, and the winger fired Hull to a 2-0 victory at Elland Road back in December 2018.

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