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Jansson unlikely to start for Whites in Championship opener against Stoke

DOUBTFUL STARTER: Pontus Jansson.
DOUBTFUL STARTER: Pontus Jansson.
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HEAD COACH Marcelo Bielsa says centre-back Pontus Jansson's World Cup exploits could mean the Swede not starting Leeds United's Championship opener against Stoke City on Sunday afternoon.

Jansson made a later return to Thorp Arch than the rest of the Whites squad with Sweden having reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup, with Bielsa revealing the 27-year-old has been back for less than a week.

Speaking in his first pre-match press conference as Leeds United head coach, the Argentine revealed that Jansson would be a doubtful starter against the Potters as a consequence with the Whites also without midfielder Adam Forshaw with damage to ligaments in his foot.

Bielsa admitted that Forshaw could be out for up to eight weeks with the 26-year-old needing surgery to fix the issue which forced him to sit out of last weekend’s pre-season friendly win over Las Palmas.

Asked if the returning Jansson would be fit enough to start against Sunday's visitors Stoke, Bielsa said: "I don't think he will be a starter.

"He had three weeks vacation, he came back six days ago and I had to take this into account."

Providing an explanation into the situation with Forshaw, Bielsa said: "He will be back in about six to eight weeks. I could specify but it's not my speciality. He had an injury on the ligament of his foot. It's a bizarre injury.

"It's bad news for the team because Adam Forshaw is a big player, a great player.

"But it's not very bad news because we have other solutions to this position."

Bielsa also revealed that Bailey Peacock-Farrell would be given the nod over Chelsea loanee Jamal Blackman to start in goal.

Bielsa said: "Farrell will be the goalkeeper. During the whole season there will be a competition between our three goalkeepers - Farrell, Blackman and (Will) Huffer.

"The fitness of Farrell today is superior to Blackman's but it's not the only reason. We will do what we have to do to get Blackman fit, it's an obligation so this will be the scenario."