By Will Butcher
Garry Monk is expected to make two changes to his Leeds line-up to face Brighton in Saturday’s evening kick-off at Elland Road.
Right-back Luke Ayling picked up his tenth yellow card of the season during the 0-0 draw against QPR last time out, and will now serve a two-match ban.
Monk is also likely to drop midfielder Ronaldo Vieira against Chris Hughton’s Brighton, with experience needed in the middle of the park against Beram Kayal and Dale Stephens.
The duo are set to be replaced by Ireland international Eunan O’Kane and last season’s player of the year Charlie Taylor.
One-time Switzerland international Gaetano Berardi is expected to move from left-back to right-back to cover the loss of Ayling, which will see Taylor return on the left.
Former Bournemouth midfielder O’Kane will come in for Vieira, fresh from being handed a call-up in Martin O’Neill’s provisional Ireland squad to face Wales and Iceland.
Rob Green will look to continue his fine form in between the sticks at Elland Road after making his 600th career league appearances, following spells with West Ham, Norwich and QPR.
He will join Pontus Jansson and Kyle Bartley for the seventh consecutive match, after conceding just four goals and keeping two clean sheets in their last six games.
Captain Liam Bridcutt will partner O’Kane in the middle of the park, as they look to win the midfield battle against Stephens and Kayal in what will be a fierce battle.
Pablo Hernandez will look to pull the strings from the number 10 role once again, and will be looking to put a number of quiet performances behind him by inspiring Leeds to three points.
Monk has an abundance of wide options available to him but should stick with Kemar Roofe and Alfonso Pedraza out wide, as they look to supply Chris Wood with ammunition.
The Championship’s top scorer, Wood, is now on 25 goals in all competitions and will be in buoyant mood after being called up to the New Zealand squad.
A win for Leeds could see them move to within two points of third placed, Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield, if the Terriers lose to Bristol City away from home.