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30th Oct, 2017 | 4:41pm

Leeds expected 4-2-3-1 v Derby: Talisman returns as Christiansen forced to attack

By Guy Giles

Thomas Christiansen is expected to make two changes to the team that fell 2-1 to Sheffield United last time out, as Leeds welcome Derby County to Elland Road on Tuesday evening.

Talismanic defender Pontus Jansson, who has failed to reach the heights of last season and was dropped against the Blades, is expected to return at the heart of defence after captain Liam Cooper was ruled out with a dead leg.

He will play alongside Matthew Pennington in the middle, with Vurnon Anita and Luke Ayling on the left and right flanks respectively.

Midfielder Kalvin Phillips, one of the stars of this season so far, earned a one-game suspension with his fifth yellow card of the season against the Blades, and his absence may force Christiansen into a formation change.

A lack of central midfield replacements means that Christiansen could revert from a 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1, a formation he utilised earlier this season, with Eunan O’Kane and Ronaldo Vieira forming their midfield partnership.

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Ahead of them, Ergjan Alioski is expected to retain his place on the right wing, with Irishman Stuart Dallas likely to deputise on the left flank.

Samu Saiz Alonso may be asked to play a more central role after his exciting form recently, with Pierre-Michel Lasogga leading the line.

Fifth-placed Leeds come into this match under a bit of pressure after their 2-1 loss against Sheffield Wednesday, and they welcome an in-form Derby side who have won three on the bounce.

Kick off at Elland Road is 7.45pm on Tuesday night.

In other Leeds United news, a Sky Sports pundit has made a fascinating claim about the form of this combative defender.

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