Quartet axed in Monk 4-2-3-1: Leeds best possible XI to face Fulham
By Will Butcher
Garry Monk must make a mid-week reshuffle in the shape of four changes to his Leeds side if he wants to secure three points against Fulham on Tuesday night.
Former Swansea boss Monk saw his side earn their third win in four games against Birmingham with a 3-1 victory, but now face a tough task away to London outfit Fulham.
Slavisa Jokanovic’s side have been in wonderful form of late, winning four of their last five Championship outings and Monk’s Leeds must be at their best at Craven Cottage.
Academy products Kalvin Phillips and Charlie Taylor should start, while Alfonso Pedraza and Modou Barrow would also provide Leeds with the quality they need to leave London with all three points.
The quartet would come in for Gaetano Berardi, Eunan O’Kane, Stuart Dallas and Souleymane Doukara, as Monk looks to maintain his side’s promotion chase.
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Taylor, 23, has returned to training after suffering an achilles injury that has kept him sidelined for two months and he should start over Switzerland international Berardi from the off.
Midfielder Phillips came off the bench to make just his fourth appearance of 2017 and he provided a wonderful assist for Chris Wood’s second goal against Birmingham.
He must be handed a start in place of O’Kane alongside Bridcutt in midfield, while Alfonso Pedraza’s first Leeds goal against Birmingham could see him earn a second start under Monk.
Doukara and Dallas failed to provide a cutting edge in the attacking third for Leeds, and they should both drop to the bench to make way for Pedraza and fellow new signing Barrow.
Rob Green has been in wonderful form of late between the sticks, and he will be looking to earn his 14th clean sheet of the season against London side Fulham.
Former centre-back Monk will choose Pontus Jansson and Kyle Bartley at the heart of his defence for a fifth consecutive match, while Luke Ayling will line up at right-back.
Spain international Pablo Hernandez will look to pull the strings from the number 10 role once again, after producing a ninth assist of the season for fellow countryman Pedraza to score.
The ex-Swansea ace will sit in behind Championship top scorer Chris Wood, who moved on to 25 strikes in all competitions for the season with a brace against Birmingham.
A 21st league win of the season could see Leeds move to within four points of second placed Brighton and up to third place, if Huddersfield and Brighton both lose on Tuesday night.