THE Uniteds of Newcastle and Leeds go head-to-head at St James’ Park on Friday night with both sides desperate for their first Premier League win of the season.

The Whites have scraped two draws from their opening four games while Steve Bruce’s men have mustered just a point.

Both clubs suffered heavy defeats at the weekend with the Magpies going down 4-1 to Manchester United, while Leeds suffered a 3-0 mauling at home to Liverpool.

The game at Elland Road could not have gone much worse for coach Marcelo Bielsa.

His side were dominated by a Liverpool outfit back to their vibrant best but Leeds lost Spanish international defender Diego Llorente to a muscle injury and saw his replacement, Pascal Struijk, receive a straight red card after a tackle which left 18-year-old midfielder Harvey Elliott with a dislocated ankle.

The incident was a curious one as referee Craig Pawson did not initially blow for a foul, only stopping the game as Liverpool’s medical staff dashed on to the pitch to aid the stricken teenager.

After several minutes while Elliott was being treated and put on a stretcher, Pawson produced the card due to the intensity of the challenge.

Bielsa insisted that there was no intention to injure Elliott: “Pascal recovered the ball, the action to get the ball didn’t have an infraction but had the feeling that the movement of the rest of his body after he recovered the ball, which made him hit Elliott.

“I’m totally sure that there was no bad intention.

“These types of recoveries of the ball are totally frequent.

“The difference here was that the follow-through with Pascal’s speed and power hit the opponent and this caused an injury.

“I regret dearly that such a young player playing at a high level has been interrupted by this.

“I hope he is able to get back.”

Some in the Leeds camp may feel they have grounds to appeal the red card but Bielsa seemed lukewarm to that course of action.

“For me the referee decides,” added the Argentine.

“He has plenty of resources to make the decision.

“I don’t know why the decision wasn’t immediate and it was after, but I never like to condition the decisions that the referee makes.”

With Struijk suspended and Llorente set to join fellow defender Robin Koch on the treatment table, Leeds will be short of experienced centre-backs at Newcastle.

Right-back Luke Ayling will probably switch to the middle to partner skipper Liam Cooper, though Leeds could give England-Under 20 international Charlie Cresswell, son of former York City striker Richard, his Premier League debut.