COMMENT By Will Butcher
Leeds are looking for a fifth win in six games on Saturday as they play host to Yorkshire rivals Barnsley, but face an uphill task against Paul Heckingbottom’s side.
The Yorkshire giants will need a very strong performance if they are to secure three points against their free-scoring rivals.
Here, Football Insider analyses the three key men for Garry Monk’s side:
Defensive titan Jansson must overcome knock
Sweden international Jansson has become Leeds’ star performer at the heart of Garry Monk’s defence in recent matches, helping his side keep three clean sheets during their winning streak of four games.
The 25-year-old has received a lot of praise for his work at the back alongside Kyle Bartley, but came off at half-time against Bristol City on Tuesday night as a “precaution” after clutching his hamstring.
Even if not fully fit, the Torino loanee needs to start to keep in-form striker Sam Winnall quiet as his aerial presence will help nullify Barnsley’s attack.
Prolific Wood is the dangerman
The New Zealand striker’s return to form after a difficult start coincided with Leeds winning streak, scoring in each of their four consecutive wins.
The 24-year-old must take his chances if they are to beat Barnsley, and he is likely to get some with the Tykes conceding 14 goals in the league this season. Monk’s side are unbeaten when Wood finds the net and it is vital that he does so again.
If Leeds’ top scorer can add to his tally of seven goals in all competitions early on in the match, then three points is likely to come their way as Heckingbottom’s side have failed to win from a losing position this season.
Sacko is capable of brilliance
The Sporting Lisbon loanee has shown glimpses of brilliance this season; scoring against Birmingham and his brilliant assist for Leeds first goal in the third round of the EFL Cup against Blackburn, where he reached the byline before pulling back to find Wood.
But it has not always been the story for the Frenchman, and that needs to change if Leeds are to move into the top half of the Championship on Saturday.
Sacko must find consistency. At times, he looks like he is worth his release clause of £60million, but in other instances he can look like a player worth much less.
In other Leeds news, this Championship outfit have a made a decision on this former player.