23-year-old axed: Leeds best possible XI to face Reading
COMMENT By Danny Wright
Leeds should make two changes to their side if they are to beat Reading in a hugely important clash on Saturday.
Garry Monk must axe Hadi Sacko and recall Kemar Roofe to his starting line-up in order to mix-up his attack to face a team that is under the leadership of defensive genius Jaap Stam.
The 23-year-old hasn’t set the world alight with his performances this season and Roofe has shown glimpses that he can become a real game changer at times.
Monk can’t afford to take any risks against Reading, who could leapfrog Leeds into fourth place if they get a win, and must play his best players available.
Pontus Jansson is another one of those players who can prove crucial in big games and Monk must drop Liam Cooper, despite him putting in a brilliant performance in the heart of the defence against Brighton, to face the Royals.
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It has been reported that Chris Wood could miss the game as he picked up a knock while on international duty for New Zealand this week.
However, Monk must opt to start the Championship top goalscorer if at all possible as the clash at the Madejski is a game they simply cannot afford to lose.
The Kiwi striker has fired 27 goals in all competitions for the West Yorkshire club this season including two in his last outing against Brighton.
Rob Green will have to keep his place in goal, and he’ll be protected by Gaetano Berardi, Kyle Bartley and Charlie Taylor, along with Jansson.
Liam Bridcutt and Ronaldo Vieira must keep their places in the two central midfield slots and Roofe would sit just in front of them in the No. 10 role. Pablo Hernandez would play on the right wing.
Alfonso Pedraza has been on fire in recent weeks for Leeds meaning he should retain his place on the left hand side of the attack.
A victory for the West Yorkshire club could see them leapfrog fierce rivals Huddersfield into third place if results go their way and be within five points of the automatic promotion spots.
In other Leeds news, Neil Redfearn has analysed which area of play could be most crucial in the Reading tie.