With Robin Koch and Diego Llorente back following injury spells on the sidelines, Bielsa now has four top centre-backs to choose from, with Cooper and Pascal Struijk also adding to his options.

 

Cooper himself had to sit out for two games prior to the international break owing to fitness issues, but returned to the starting eleven against Sheffield United last weekend in a 2-1 win in the Premier League.

 

 

Cooper admitted he has a point to prove that he belongs in the heart of the defence for Leeds now that there is tight competition for places with the unbelievable centre-backs they have in their ranks all fit and ready.

 

However, the Leeds skipper insists there is no clash of egos or ill will among the centre-backs at Elland Road and stressed they all push each other to improve.

 

 

Asked whether he has a point to prove now being back in the first team fold with so much competition for a centre-back role, Cooper told LUTV: “Yes, 100 per cent.

 

“I am a big believer; it is only healthy for us.

 

 

“We have got four unbelievable centre-halves chomping at the bit to play, obviously a German international, a Spanish international and me and Pascal all going for those two positions.

 

“So, you have to apply yourself, train hard every day and do what the manager asks and play when called up on.

 

“I do not think there is no egos or anything like that.

 

“There are no bad feelings when we do not play.

 

“We just push each other to be the best we can and long may that continue.”

 

All eyes will be on how Bielsa will set his team up on Saturday with a tough challenge awaiting them in the shape of league leaders Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.