Attacker among quartet axed in Monk 4-2-3-1: Leeds best possible XI to face Nottingham Forest
By Will Butcher
Four changes need to be made by Garry Monk if he is to see Leeds return to winning ways against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night.
Monk’s side play host to the struggling Championship side at Elland Road and will be looking to get back to winning ways after losing 3-2 to Yorkshire rivals Barnsley on Saturday night.
Dropping to fourth in the table, manager Monk will want to make sure that Leeds’ momentum does not become derailed as he looks to secure promotion to the Premier League.
Pontus Jansson is set to return from suspension to bolster Monk’s defensive ranks, while Charlie Taylor, Hadi Sacko and Eunan O’Kane should also all come in to the side.
That would see Lewie Coyle, Souleymane Doukara, Ronaldo Vieira and Gaetano Berardi drop to the bench to face managerless Forest, who axed Philippe Montanier earlier this month.
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Despite Luke Ayling’s impressive performances at centre-back, he assumes his position of right-back to allow summer signing Jansson to resume his blossoming partnership with Kyle Bartley.
The Swede had been out with a two-match suspension following his tenth yellow card of the season, but must return to the side to tie up a permanent deal that is expected to be announced after his 22nd Leeds appearance.
Jansson joins O’Kane in returning, as the Ireland international looks to have completed his recovery from a groin problem. He came off the bench to offer a classy element to Leeds’ midfield play against Barnsley, and he should start alongside captain Liam Bridcutt.
Charlie Taylor should be risked at left-back as he edges towards a return from injury, which would see Berardi drop out.
Versatile attacker Doukara has struggled to hit the form that he produced earlier this season in recent games, and speed machine Hadi Sacko should replace him.
Rob Green remains in goal over Marco Silvestri, as Monk picks his first-choice defence for the first time in a month following Taylor’s injury against Brentford on December 17.
Alongside Sacko, Spaniard Pablo Hernandez will look to orchestrate the attack while Kemar Roofe continues on the right and will look to supply top scorer Chris Wood who is looking to add to his 19-goal tally.
Three points against Forest will see Leeds go into third momentarily, as Huddersfield’s next league game takes place on February 2 against high flying Brighton.
In other Leeds news, this Monk outcast will be back at Elland Road in the summer.