28-year-old axed in Monk 4-2-3-1: Leeds best possible XI to face Wigan
COMMENT By Harvey Byrne
Leeds manager Garry Monk should axe Gaetano Berardi from the left-back position and start Charlie Taylor in the defence against Wigan on Sunday.
The 28-year-old Switzerland national took up the position in the club’s back four after Taylor suffered a long-term injury in December during a 1-0 win over Brentford.
It is now suspected the academy graduate is being left out of the team due to his contract expiring in June, but Monk still has time to try and convince the 23-year-old to stay with Leeds.
Starting him against Wigan could certainly help, while the expected departure of tough negotiator Massimo Cellino and a promise of Premier League football or sold in the summer of 2018 when under contract could also play a part.
Meanwhile, Monk will be forced into another defensive change with Pontus Jansson receiving a three-match suspension for a yellow card picked up against Norwich last weekend.
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Therefore, the young manger should recall Liam Cooper after his return from suspension to fill in for the centre-back position left by the powerful Sweden international.
Wing duo Hadi Sacko and Souleymane Doukara should also come into the team with Stuart Dallas and Pablo Hernandez dropping out with the aforementioned duo giving one final chance to impress with their deals set to expire at Leeds this summer.
The back four compiled of regular duo Luke Ayling and Kyle Bartley alongside Taylor and Cooper should be enough to keep a Wigan team out which has scored just 39 goals this campaign and the experienced Rob Green will be looking for his 16th clean sheet of the season.
Meanwhile, youngster Ronaldo Vieira and Eunan O’Kane will also help form the side’s defensive unit, while offering more freedom to the attacking quartet.
With summer signing Kemar Roofe adopting the position in the middle and both Sacko and Doukara on either side of him it is likely they will find their way past a Wigan defence, which has already been relegated this campaign.
Additionally, with the league’s top scorer in Chris Wood, who is sat on 26 goals the Yorkshire giants are almost guaranteed to find their way past the Lancashire club’s defence.
In other Leeds news, fans have reacted on Twitter to Monk’s reported talks with the club.