The international break is finally over and we have a cracker of a game on our hands. Championship football is back and two in-form teams Newcastle United and Leeds United will lock horns at Elland Road. Leeds United are in a dream run right now having picked up 22 points from the last 30 available. Monk did not have the best start at the Yorkshire side but the Whites’ good run of form of late has put them in top six.
Both of these teams a few years ago were accustomed to playing in the Premier League together and both desperately want to get there again so stealing three points will be on the agenda this Sunday. Leeds United are looking much improved compared to the last few campaigns and will be keen to hold on to their playoff spot. Newcastle United have won all their last seven games and seem unbeatable right now.
The two sides have met each other 29 times so far and the Magpies hold a solid record winning 15 of those encounters. Leeds have won just 6 times while 8 have ended as stalemates. This will be the headliner fixture of the weekend and we have to wait and see who comes out as the winner.
Veteran shot-stopper Robert Green will start between the sticks for the Whites. We expect Monk to stick to the centre-back pairing of Kyle Bartley and Pontus Jansson who have done a brilliant job at the heart of the defence this season. Liam Cooper is expected to stay on the bench. Luke Ayling should keep his place at right-back even through Gaetano Berardi is fit again. He established himself as the first-choice right-back when Berardi was out with injury. Highly rated left-back Charlie Taylor will keep his place at left-back.
Kalvin Phillips and Eunan O’Kane are likely to keep their respective places in the middle of the park. Both have been excellent this season and Monk is unlike to alter the winning formula. Liam Bridcutt is fit now but will have to sit out with the midfield duo performing so well. Youngster Ronaldo Vieira was the hero for Leeds in the last game scoring the late winner against Norwich after coming on from the bench.
New Zealand international Chris Wood is in a stunning form right now having scored eight goals in the Championship from 16 games and will keep his place up front. Youngsters Hadi Sakho and Kemar Roofe are likely to start on the flanks and will look to cause trouble with their pace.