COMMENT By Harvey Byrne
Manager Garry Monk should axe attacker Pablo Hernandez from his starting line-up to take on Wolves in the Championship on Monday evening.
The 32-year-old Spaniard has blown hot and cold in recent months and it is all too often cold, leaving his team a man down in the attack.
Therefore, Monk should bring the in form Kemar Roofe into the middle of an attacking midfield three with the pacey Hadi Sacko taking up the position on the right.
Now, Sacko often struggles with his final ball, but one thing he brings to the team that Hernandez doesn’t have is pace and the 23-year-old could prove vital against a struggling Wolves defence.
Meanwhile, duo Eunan O’Kane and Charlie Taylor should also come into the team with Kalvin Phillips and Gaetano Berardi dropping out due to Phillips’ poor performance against Newcastle, while Taylor can offer more going forward than Berardi, which is needed against a team like Wolves.
Goalkeeper Rob Green is a must in any promotion chasing side and the only worry over him now is whether he can remain fit with a possible play-off campaign coming up.
There is also a slight worry in defender Pontus Jansson, who will pick up a three-match ban from another yellow card, but it may be for the best to get that out of the way now so that he’s available for the play-offs.
The Leeds defence can certainly cope without the Sweden international for the final few matches of the season if Luke Ayling moves into the middle alongside Kyle Bartley with Berardi taking the right right-back slot and Taylor on the left and Monk will be fully aware of the quality of his back four, but Jansson will be vital for the play-offs.
Meanwhile, ahead of the back line must see O’Kane line-up alongside Liam Bridcutt in the centre of the park.
Defensive midfielder Bridcutt is certainly a class above, while O’Kane’s experience at this late stage of the season may serve Monk’s team better than talented 18-year-old Ronaldo Vieira.
The duo will then provide freedom for attacking midfield trio Roofe, Sacko and loanee Alfonso Pedraza, who can all prove devastating on their day and truly put the Wolves defence to the sword.
Additionally, they all boast the ability to feed forward goal machine Chris Wood, who will be looking to add to his 25 league goals this season against a defence which has conceded an astonishing 54 goals from their 41 Championship matches.
In other Leeds news, the Whites’ move for this top-flight centre-back is live.