Berardi among four axed in Monk 4-2-3-1: Leeds best possible XI to face QPR
By Will Butcher
Garry Monk must freshen up his attack as Leeds look to secure all three points against QPR at Elland Road on Saturday.
The former Swansea boss watched from the dugout at Craven Cottage on Tuesday night, as his Yorkshire giants failed to provide a slight attacking threat during the 1-1 draw.
Leeds’ only goal of the game came through a bizarre Tim Ream own goal, and Monk must address that by bringing back top scorer Chris Wood and Spain international Pablo Hernandez.
Joining the senior attacking duo in returning to the side should be Ronaldo Vieira and Luke Ayling, with the latter missing Tuesday’s clash due to the birth of his daughter.
Dropping out of Monk’s starting eleven should be Souleymane Doukara, Hadi Sacko, Eunan O’Kane and Gaetano Berardi, as Leeds look to secure their 21st league win of the season.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
Monk has continued to rotate his wingers since bringing in Barrow and Alfonso Pedraza in on January deadline day, and he is set to do that again ahead of Saturday’s clash.
Pedraza keeps his place after providing Leeds’ only threat from out wide, while Sacko’s disappointing display sees him replaced by Hernandez. Roofe moves out to the right flank.
The attacking midfield trio are Monk’s most in-form playmakers at the moment, with Doukara, Stuart Dallas and Modou Barrow all struggling along with Sacko to find any consistent form.
They will look to supply top scorer Wood, who will be desperate to find the net once again to maintain his position as the Championship’s top scorer.
In behind Hernandez would be captain Liam Bridcutt and teenage ace Ronaldo Vieira, as O’Kane has failed to find his previous form since injuring his groin.
Attack is the order of the day at Elland Road against Ian Holloway’s side, and that should see Charlie Taylor join Ayling in lining up on the side of the defence.
Switzerland Berardi is known more for his defensive qualities, while Pontus Jansson and Kyle Bartley’s strong partnership at the back will be relied upon once again to keep out QPR.
Rob Green remains between the sticks as his form continues to grow stronger towards the end of the season, with Italian Marco Silvestri watching on from the bench.
If Leeds can exact revenge on QPR after losing 3-0 to the R’s on the opening day of the season, then they will climb into third place if Huddersfield lose to Brentford.
In other Leeds news, this is why Berardi should be axed.