Leeds United news as Luke Ayling set to start as centre-back, Michael Owen delivers West Ham United verdict

Here are your morning headlines from Leeds United on Sunday, January 16.

Whelan argues Ayling

Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has suggested Luke Ayling could start at centre-back ahead of their game against West Ham United at the London Stadium.

Marcelo Bielsa gave Leo Hjelde his debut for the Whites last weekend and he impressed, while Pascal Struijk is back in contention to start after recovering from a foot injury.

However, Diego Llorente is out after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season and Liam Cooper will also miss the game through injury and Whelan believes Ayling could enter the backline.

“Luke Ayling may have to come back into central defence,” he said. Initiated in football.

“I think we need that experienced header. Stuart Dallas could then be pushed to right-back. I would prefer not to, but it’s not the worst thing that can happen.

“It gives us a strong back line to work with. It’s really positive to have more experienced players like Firpo and Struijk.”

Owen delivers Leeds prediction

Former England striker Michael Owen doesn’t think Leeds United will emerge with a positive result from his trip to West Ham United this afternoon.

The Whites are looking to bounce back from last weekend’s FA Cup third round defeat at the London Stadium and register a second away win this season.

Meanwhile, opponents West Ham have won their last four matches in all competitions and will be aiming to cement their place in the top four.

Nonetheless, Owen delivered his pre-game prediction and believes the Hammers will prevail despite the Whites’ 3-1 success over Burnley in their last Premier League outing.

He said BetVictor “West Ham are in good goalscoring form, it’s now nine goals in their last three Premier League games. Jarrod Bowen was the star of the show again against Norwich.

“He scored two, which could easily have been three or four. His movement from wide areas is excellent.

“Leeds have been one of the worst teams in the league on their travels this season. Victory over Burnley in their last game, however, gave them some breathing room in the bottom three.

“It might not have been their teams at full strength, but West Ham were comfortable in that 2-0 FA Cup win over Leeds last week. I can see the same here. 3-1 against West Ham.”

Leeds should benefit from a financial windfall

Leeds United are set to hit the jackpot as long as they maintain their top-flight status after the Premier League secured two new overseas TV deals.

Media SportsPro report that US-based Paramount+ have secured a three-year deal to bring England’s elite competition to Mexico and Central America.

The same exit named FuboTV as the latest rights holder in Canada, taking over from UK streaming service DAZN.

New Premier League regulations mean Leeds will reap greater financial rewards the further they finish the table, with changes in 2019 awarding 50 per cent of overseas earnings based on merit.

The other half is split evenly among the 20 members – a move that has been endorsed by the self-proclaimed “big six” clubs.

Football financial expert Kieran Maguire has revealed how Los Blancos could benefit from the new broadcast deals.

“The Premier League set new terms in 2019,” he said Initiated in football.

“Now 50% is distributed evenly and 50% is distributed on the basis of merit. This was as a result of pressure exerted on other clubs by the ‘sneaky six’.

“Leeds will benefit if there is a raise. The higher they finish in the table, the higher they will get.”

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