Marcelo Bielsa will have Leeds United midfielder Jamie Shackleton available for selection in his squad to face Huddersfield Town in this weekend’s West Yorkshire Derby, according to Leeds Live.
Shackleton was not included in the matchday squad for Saturday’s resounding 4-0 win over Middlesbrough, having made his comeback from injury as a late substitute in last week’s 1-0 win at Reading.
The 20-year-old only featured for a single minute of regular time at the Madejski Stadium, but came through an Under 23s fixture unscathed last Friday, where he featured for 45 minutes.
His game time with Carlos Corberan’s junior ranks matched his total first-team action since the start of October, with the England U20 international’s injury problems leading to him missing seven games before featuring at Reading.
Shackleton is now expected to be available to face Huddersfield on Saturday, which will be the first time we have faced our West Yorkshire rival since losing 2-1 at the John Smith’s Stadium in February 2017.
Should Shackleton feature vs Huddersfield?
Yes, he has to start in the derby
Keep with the side that beat Middlesbrough
A return for Shackleton into the starting line-up could come with a change in shape for United, as Bielsa has often opted to rotate the side’s formation from a 4-1-4-1 to either a 4-2-3-1 or a 3-3-3-1 in the £2.25million-rated youngster’s absence.
The three-man backline was the boss’ preferred option for Saturday’s rout of Boro and last week’s triumph over Reading, while a 4-2-3-1 was used at Preston North End and at home to Blackburn Rovers.
Bielsa may opt to continue without Shackleton in the starting line-up, though, after seeing Helder Costa score his first Championship goal for the club at the weekend, while Pablo Hernandez assisted Patrick Bamford’s first of the day.
In other Leeds United news, a Sky Sports pundit has hailed the importance of a £19,000-per-week Whites star to Bielsa.