26-year-old axed, rarely-seen defender starts: Heck can save Leeds job with this XI v Preston


Leeds United manager Paul Heckingbottom must axe Stuart Dallas from his starting line-up against Preston on Tuesday night if he wants to field his best possible team.

Dallas’ form has been well short of what is required and he must be replaced at right-back by Vurnon Anita with Gaetano Berardi suspended for the rest of the season.

With Berardi out, Tom Pearce should come in at left-back while Kemar Roofe must replace Pierre-Michel Lasogga up front.

Heckingbottom has been facing an enormous amount of pressure after overseeing just two wins in over two months in charge of Leeds, but by making these changes he will surely earn victory and save his job in the process.

Bailey Peacock-Farrell was outstanding against Sunderland in the 1-1 draw on Saturday and should remain in goals despite Andy Lonergan and Felix Wiedwald both being fit to play.

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Anita and the rarely-seen defender Pearce – who has made just one appearance for Leeds – must be joined by Pontus Jansson and Paudie O’Connor as the central defensive options with 26-year-old Dallas axed due to his poor form.

Kalvin Phillips and Ronaldo Vieira should remain in the deeper-lying midfield positions due to the lack of options in that area of the squad.

Samuel Saiz must line up in the No 10 role with Ezgjan Alioski and Pablo Hernandez on either wing.

Up front, Roofe should get the nod to start after returning from injury against the Black Cats.

In other Leeds United news, a £1.5million deal has been agreed for this defender wanted by the Whites.

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