Marcelo Bielsa reveals huge Leeds United boost and reacts to Steve Bruce's 'gloves off' approach at Newcastle United
The Whites have gone nine days without a game, allowing the Frenchman to recover from Covid-19 after missing his side’s 1-0 defeat at home to Brighton last time out.
Bielsa has a fully fit squad at his disposal, excluding Robin Koch, Gaetano Berardi and Adam Forshaw, who are longer-term absentees.
Diego Llorente, a summer signing from Real Sociedad, could make his first start of the season.
"Meslier has resolved his health issues," said the Argentine. "There is no new news. [Robin] Koch and [Gaetano] Berardi still remain out."
He added: "With regards to Berardi, his injury coincided with the injuries to Koch, (Diego) Llorente, (Liam) Cooper and (Kalvin) Phillips (but) we've managed to resolve this.
"Forshaw's one has been longer but we've been able to resolve it with Phillips, (Stuart) Dallas, (Jamie) Shackleton and Pascal (Struijk)."
In his pre-match press conference, Bielsa was also questioned about the Magpies and under pressure boss Steve Bruce.
Newcastle are without a victory in 10 matches – the latest being a 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa on Saturday evening – and have failed to score in their previous eight games.
Before the 3-0 loss at Arsenal last Monday, Bruce insisted “the gloves are off” and things would be done his way from now on.
Bielsa did not appear intimidated by the 60-year-old’s approach. To be fair, it is understandable given Bruce’s way has done nothing to improve his side, contrary to his own beliefs.
The former Marseille replied bluntly: “We have the same objective as them.”
Furthermore, Bielsa believes Newcastle’s Covid-19 outbreak and injuries has had a baring on their awful form and insists Leeds are concertraing on only themselves.
He said: “All teams have highs and lows.
"There’s teams who had bigger injury problems and have had to suffer because of Covid a lot more than others. And this has an influence in the succession of the results and their games.”
He added: "We analyse the difficulties of the opponent but of course we worry more about our own difficulties and our difficulties are just as present as theirs.
“As in every game we try to improve ourselves as a team and we will try to be better than the opponent in all facets possible.
“We’re not focused on the opponent's bad run of form, we’re focused on our game and trying to improve our own form.
“In no way do we feel that Newcastle's poor run of form will help us regain ours. It’s not a rival’s poor run of form that will help us to improve on our own, we have to improve on our own.”
On injuries, centre-backs Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummett and Federico Fernandez have all been ruled out.
Allan Saint-Maximin and Ryan Fraser came off the bench to feature at Villa Park at the weekend but it remains unclear as to whether they’re fit to start at St James’s Park tomorrow.