By Alex Stevens

Eunan O’Kane and Liam Cooper are on course to be available for Leeds’ Championship showdown against Aston Villa on Saturday.

Manager Garry Monk revealed on Thursday afternoon that the midfielder and defender should be available for selection for the eagerly anticipated clash at Elland Road, which is a 5.30pm kick-off.

O’Kane (groin) and Cooper (ankle) limped out of Leeds’ 2-0 League Cup defeat to Liverpool on Tuesday night with problems sustained in the first half at Anfield.

They added their names to an injury list which already included Liam Bridcutt (foot), Pablo Hernandez (hamstring) and Pontus Jansson (illness).

But Monk explained that he expects Jansson, O’Kane and Cooper to be fit for Saturday’s clash against former Premier League outfit Villa.

The Leeds manager, as quoted by Yorkshire Evening Post correspondent Lee Sobot, said that he is “hopeful” the available players are the same as they were before the Liverpool match, meaning the trio will be available to face Villa.

Monk explained that O’Kane and Cooper were taken off at Anfield as a “precautionary” measure.

However, long-term absentees Bridcutt and Hernandez are still not ready to return to the first team.

Monk said that the plan is for skipper Bridcutt, who has been out since mid September with a broken foot, should return to training on Monday, while playmaker Hernandez is “another week or two” from playing.

Leeds host Villa on the back of an impressive run of results that has catapulted them into fifth in the division, their highest place for nearly three years.

Steve Bruce’s side are also in fine form, winning four matches and drawing three since the former Hull, Sunderland and Birmingham boss took charge last month.

In other Leeds news, Kemar Roofe has shared the two reasons why he has struggled to settle at Elland Road.