Confirmed Leeds line-up: Defensive trio omitted against Barnsley
By Alex Stevens
Leeds take on Barnsley in the Championship on Saturday without defensive trio Pontus Jansson, Liam Cooper and Charlie Taylor.
The three senior defenders miss out for the 5.30pm televised kick-off at Oakwell in what is an eagerly anticipated Yorkshire derby.
Manager Garry Monk has named an unchanged XI after sticking with the side that beat Derby 1-0 so impressively eight days ago.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) January 21, 2017
Ronaldo Vieira continues as Liam Bridcutt’s central midfield partner after getting the nod over fit-again Eunan O’Kane and Kalvin Phillips, while Kemar Roofe, Pablo Hernandez and Souleymane Doukara provide the attacking support for spearhead Chris Wood.
Hadi Sacko misses out through injury for the third consecutive match.
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Monk also fields a makeshift back line for the second league encounter in a row, with Lewie Coyle and Gaetano Berardi in the full-back positions and regular right-back Luke Ayling partnering central defensive mainstay Kyle Bartley.
The new-look back line worked wonders at Elland Road but Monk admitted afterwards that he was looking forward to his senior operators returning.
Leeds are without the suspended Jansson as he serves the second match of a two-game ban, while Monk revealed that left-back Taylor “is still unavailable” with an achilles problem.
Cooper has been omitted with the leg injury that forced him on to crutches in the wake of Leeds’ recent FA Cup triumph at League Two outfit Cambridge United.
Berardi, who has spent most of his career at right-back, is set to deputise once again at left-back, while Coyle will once again start on the right side of defence.
In other Leeds news, Monk has made a shock transfer revelation after meeting with new owner Andrea Radrizzani.