Despite Leeds United’s 2-0 loss to Brighton and Hove Albion last Friday, the Whites are still in true contention for a playoff spot. Garry Monk’s boys were outclassed by Chris Hughton’s Seagulls on Friday but at the same time, it was a reality check for the Yorkshire-based side. Brighton were in the race for the championship title throughout the last season and they are doing an excellent job this season too. Leeds’ young but talented set of players can learn a lot from the loss against Brighton.
Leeds will lock horns with another promotion hopeful in the midweek. The Whites will host Reading at Elland Road on Tuesday night. The Royals are third in the table right now with 37 points from 20 games. The gap between them and second-placed Brighton is five points now and a win can get them closer to the top two. Leeds have dropped down to sixth now and will be keen to win this game at any cost to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot.
The last time these two sides met produced a cracker. Leeds won the 5-goal thriller but their overall record against Reading is far from impressive. Leeds beat the Royals thrice till date while lost four times. Seven games between them have ended in draws.
Here is the predicted Leeds United lineup vs Reading.
Veteran shot-stopper Robert Green will start between the sticks for the Whites ahead of Marco Silvestri. The centre-back pairing of Kyle Bartley and Pontus Jansson has worked wonders this season for Leeds but Jansson had a poor outing against Brighton last time out. Monk should bring Liam Cooper to the starting XI against Reading to pair up with Bartley. Luke Ayling is expected to start at right-back ahead of Gaetano Berardi while Charlie Taylor is likely to keep his place at left-back.
Monk has a tough decision to make as Kalvin Phillips misses with a red-card suspension. Liam Bridcutt joined training recently after coming back from an injury but is not fit enough to feature. Eunan O’Kane is also missing through injury. The best option for Monk right now is Matt Grimes. The Swansea city loanee is likely to start in the middle of the park alongside Ronaldo Vieira.
In-form Chris Wood will spearhead Leeds’ attack against Reading. We expect Hadi Sakho and Souleymane Doukara to start in behind the striker on the flanks. Kemar Roofe will keep his place in the number ten position.
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