Four academy products start in Monk 4-2-3-1: Leeds best possible XI to face Cambridge
COMMENT By Will Butcher
Garry Monk should hand four academy stars a first-team chance and make 10 changes in total for Monday’s FA Cup trip to League Two side Cambridge United.
The Yorkshire giants will be looking to avoid a potential giant killing at Abbey Road in the third round of the Cup before a vital Championship fixture against Derby on January 13.
With Steve McClaren’s side set to visit less than a week after Saturday’s clash, Monk must look to hand four of Leeds homegrown stars a chance among 10 changes to his side.
Kalvin Phillips, Lewie Coyle, Tyler Denton and Alex Mowatt should all start, while Monk should also hand starts to Marco Silvestri, Liam Cooper, Eunan O’Kane, Stuart Dallas, Matt Grimes and Marcus Antonsson.
Monk’s 10 changes would see only Kyle Bartley remain after the 3-0 win against Rotherham. Rob Green, Luke Ayling, Pontus Jansson, Gaetano Berardi, Liam Bridcutt, Souleymane Doukara, Kemar Roofe, Pablo Hernandez, Hadi Sacko and Chris Wood should all be rested.
Italian stopper Silvestri should make his fifth appearances of the season, while right-back Coyle has returned to training after a knee injury sustained against Norwich in the EFL Cup.
With Jansson still coming to terms with a busy Christmas period, Bartley and Cooper will give the Torino loanee a rest while debut hero Denton should be given his second Leeds appearance.
Ireland international O’Kane needs minutes if he is to feature against Derby following his return to training from a groin injury, while Phillips should partner him after a drop in form.
Former Brentford ace Dallas starts on the right to accommodate forgotten left-footer Mowatt, while loanee Grimes should be given another chance to make an impact in the number 10 role.
Despite scoring just three goals all season since his £2million summer move, Antonsson will be relied upon to fire Leeds into the fourth round as top scorer Wood is rested.
In other Leeds team news, Monk provided an update on this Leeds injury trio.