By Will Butcher
Leeds are expected to hand captain Liam Bridcutt his first start in three months against Brentford on Saturday.
The 27-year-old has been sidelined with a broken foot since September, after limping off during the 1-0 EFL Cup win against Blackburn.
However, the Chelsea youth player returned to action on Tuesday night as a substitute during the 2-0 win against Reading for top scorer Chris Wood, who limped off with a hamstring problem.
Monk is expected to make that same change from the off on Saturday, as New Zealand international Wood is ruled out until Boxing Day.
Bridcutt’s inclusion will see him line up alongside Ronaldo Vieira, while Souleymane Doukara should lead the Yorkshire giants’ attack.
Doukara, who also scored against Reading on Tuesday night, will lead the line in place of Wood as Marcus Antonsson continues to recover from a back spasm.
That will mean a change in formation from the 2-0 win over Jaap Stam’s Royals, as Monk reverts to his usual 4-2-3-1 system.
The defence and goalkeeper are expected to remain the same for the fourth game in a row, as Rob Green continues to keep Italian Marco Silvestri on the bench.
Loanees Kyle Bartley and Pontus Jansson will be hoping to keep their seventh clean sheet as a partnership at the back this season.
Charlie Taylor and Luke Ayling will look to get forward and support the attack on the flanks, while Ronaldo Vieira’s recent hard-working displays will see him keep his place in midfield.
Ireland international Eunan O’Kane is ruled out with a groin injury, while Kalvin Phillips is likely to return from suspension to the bench.
Four-time Spain international Pablo Hernandez returned to training this week, but is unlikely to be thrown in at the deep end after three weeks out.
Kemar Roofe will keep his place in the hole, with Hadi Sacko and Stuart Dallas either side of him while Doukara will look to add to his three goals in eight games.
A win could see Leeds rise to a lofty third position in the Championship table, if Huddersfield and Reading drop points.
In other Leeds news, Monk’s side should sign this Arsenal striker who is soon to be available.