Leeds United stars begin World Cup dreams with starts on busy night of internationals

LEEDS United centre-back Diego Llorente has been spared a sixth start in quick succession and sits on the Spain bench for Thursday night's World Cup qualifier at home to Greece.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 8:57 pm

However, United's Kalvin Phillips (England), Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland) and Gjanni Alioski (North Macedonia) all start on a busy night of internationals.

Summer signing Llorente endured a nightmare run of injuries after joining Leeds for £18m from Real Sociedad but the 27-year-old has played the full duration of United's last five games since returning from his latest setback.

The defender's form was rewarded with another call up to Luis Enrique's Spain side but Llorente is on the bench for the Thursday evening qualifier against Greece.

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STARTING: Stuart Dallas, right, for Northern Ireland. Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

In addition to Leeds midfielder Phillips starting for England against San Marino at Wembley, United's Stuart Dallas is in the Northern Ireland XI in their qualifier against hosts Italy whilst Gjanni Alioski also starts for North Macedonia in their qualifier in Romania.

Mateusz Klich is not involved for Poland in their World Cup qualifier against Hungary having tested positive but then negative for coronavirus on Wednesday whilst Illan Meslier is once again on the bench for France's under-21s as they face Denmark in their first Under-21s Euros group stage game in Hungary.

Meslier has yet to play for France's under-21s for whom Nantes stopper Alban Lafont remains the no 1.

Helder Costa was not involved for his new national side Angola as they suffered a 1-0 defeat at Gambia in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

Gambia have qualified for their first ever tournament as a result.

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Thank you Laura Collins