COMMENT By Will Butcher
Garry Monk should give in-form Italian stopper Marco Silvestri a chance against Norwich after single handedly ending the Canaries’ EFL Cup run.
The Italian star saved three spot kicks during a penalty shootout in the fourth round of the EFL Cup against Alex Neil’s side, as Leeds booked their place in the quarter finals against Liverpool.
Silvestri, 25, who is renowned for his sublime shot-stopping ability, should be considered over veteran goalkeeper Rob Green after a mediocre start to life in Yorkshire.
Signed by owner Massimo Cellino, Silvestri could be joined by another of the former Cagliari owner’s signings in right back Gaetano Berardi.
The Switzerland international has recovered from a hamstring injury that has kept him sidelined from the start of the season, and alongside Silvestri, impressed against Norwich.
Berardi’s ability to provide a firmer defensive outlook than first-choice right back Luke Ayling could be a deciding factor as Monk looks to nullify Norwich’s attack, with Martin Olsson and Jacob Murphy likely to worry the Leeds defence on the left flank.
Despite a sticky start as he attempts to handle the rigours of playing two division higher, £3million summer signing Kemar Roofe is expected to replace the unavailable Stuart Dallas on the left.
Goalscorer Souleymane Doukara’s impressive display has allowed him to work his way back into Monk’s first-team setup, but is still some way from displacing top scorer Chris Wood.
Youngster Ronaldo Vieira is still yet to stake his claim in the middle of Leeds’ midfield, as Kalvin Phillips continues in the absence of captain Liam Bridcutt alongside Eunan O’Kane.
Phillips and O’Kane will be asked to focus on defence this weekend more so than often, as Roofe and Hadi Sacko look to provide a counter attack against Alex Neil’s high flying side.
A win could see Leeds move into the playoffs above Bristol City and Reading.
In other Leeds team news, Lewie Coyle has signed a new contract at Elland Road and fans have reacted on Twitter.