By quashing Sheffield Wednesday and clinching all three points, Leeds United seems to have cemented their chances of bagging a playoff spot. With 65 points from 33 outings, Garry Monk’s side have garnered a lead of 8 points over seventh placed Fulham, although the London-based outfit do have a game in hand. On Friday, Monk & Co. shall be hosted by Birmingham City at St. Andrew’s in what appears to be an excellent chance for Leeds United to maintain their stronghold.
Here is our Leeds United predicted line-up to face Gianfranco Zola’s troops.
In between the sticks, we expect Robert Green to be selected by Monk once again. The 37-year-old veteran goalkeeper has had an outstanding campaign so far, bagging 12 clean sheets in 33 appearances and had a major say in the Whites’ 1-0 win over the Owls last weekend as he passed his test with flying colours after being repeatedly bombarded with shots, including a fingertip save to deny Jordan Rhodes’ penalty shot.
In the central defensive slots, it is likely that we will see the resilient pair of Kyle Bartley and Pontus Jansson. The duo has gelled pretty well this season and it would make no sense whatsoever to drop either of them to the bench. At right-back, Luke Ayling is expected to start and on the other side, Gaetano Berardi’s industry is likely to be seen once again.
The former Swansea City boss isn’t likely to tinker with his 4-2-3-1 formation and thus, a double pivot comprising of Eunan O’Kane and Liam Bridcutt should be used to cushion the back four. The chemistry amongst the midfielders has been a vital cog for the Peacocks’ rise this time around. In the crucial No. 10 spot, we expect Pablo Hernandez to get a nod once again.
On the right wing, we expect Hadi Sacko to start, despite not having the best of the outings in the last fixture. Sacko has been roundly criticised for his woes in delivering the final ball but the pace, mobility and tenacity he offers is unmatched. On the right wing, Souleymane Doukara should be given a nod ahead of Stuart Dallas owing to a decent shift he offered last weekend.
This is the position which seemingly has the name of Chris Wood as the permanent occupant. The New Zealand international has piled on 20 goals in 32 appearances and would love to keep his momentum going when he faces Birmingham City.
AYLING- BARTLEY- JANSSON- BERARDI
SACKO- HERNANDEZ- DOUKARA
Statistics Credits: Squawka.com
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