Both sides are still seeking their first victory of the 2021-22 top-flight campaign and Leeds will be looking to bounce back from Sunday's 3-0 reverse at home to Liverpool.
The Whites lost Diego Llorente to injury against the Reds as part of a contest in which fellow centre-back Pascal Struijk was shown a straight red card, for which he is now serving a three-game ban.
Another centre back, Robin Koch, has also been out injured with a pelvic issue whilst Adam Forshaw missed the Liverpool game with a muscular injury.
Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa confirmed at Thursday's pre-match press conference that Forshaw, Koch and Llorente would all miss the trip to St James' Park, in addition to the banned Struijk, and this is how we think the Whites will line up.
1. GK - Illan Meslier
United's undisputed no 1. A certainty to start.
2. RB - Jamie Shackleton
Young Charlie Cresswell might well get the nod for a league debut next to Liam Cooper at centre-back but the percentage call would be Luke Ayling shifting across if Leeds line up with a back four, with Jamie Shackleton coming in at right back.
3. CB - Luke Ayling
If Leeds line up with four at the back it almost certainly boils down to a choice of either Luke Ayling or Charlie Cresswell at centre-back. Cresswell looks well worth a go but Bielsa has often played Ayling at centre-back so that looks like being the call.
4. CB - Liam Cooper
United's captain is the only available natural first team centre-back and is about as certain to start as it gets. It's just a question of who partners him and whether it's two or three at the back. Kalvin Phillips is an option there too but clearly best at CDM.