COMMENT By Will Butcher
Leeds have been dealt a huge blow as Pablo Hernandez has been ruled out to face Newcastle, but who will replace him?
The one-time Spain international has failed to recover from a hamstring problem that he picked up against Norwich prior to the international break.
Playing in the number 10 role, Hernandez has been one of the first names on Garry Monk’s team sheet after scoring two goals and laying on another two in assists in 15 league and cup appearances.
But with the former Swansea star now set to miss Sunday’s televised clash, who will Garry Monk choose to play behind in-form striker Chris Wood?
The on-loan Swansea star has had to endure the taunts of his own fans since signing on at Elland Road this summer.
A member of the Young Lions squad that won the Toulon Tournament in the summer, Grimes has finally begun to show the kind of form that saw him impress for Blackburn Rovers last term.
Now, the 21-year-old could be given just his second start in a Leeds shirt against Rafa Benitez’s league leaders.
Similarly to Matt Grimes, Mowatt has been largely out of form for the Yorkshire giants this term, and has also had to suffer the criticism of his own supporters despite playing out of position.
However, Monk could give the academy product a chance in his preferred number 10 role as Mowatt looks to utilise his ability to shoot from long range and impressive vision to break the Toon down.
With his contract ending in the summer, Mowatt will be hoping to impress Monk and staff alike in an attempt to earn a new deal.
Attacker Roofe has been used largely out wide by Monk this term, as he continues to fill in for the crocked Stuart Dallas.
But with Dallas back from injury, Roofe could be pushed inside after starring for Oxford United in the advanced midfield role last term that saw him win the League Two player of the year award.
The 23-year-old will be looking to repay the hefty £3million fee paid for him by Leeds this summer, as Monk and co. look to secure a fourth consecutive win.
In other Leeds news, Newcastle boss Benitez has had this to say about Monk.