COMMENT by Russell Edge
Leeds United boss Thomas Christiansen is not expected to make wholesale changes to his side against Middlesbrough despite the club’s abysmal run of form.
The Whites return from the international break having tasted defeat in seven of their last nine league matches, which has resulted in a dramatic slide down the table after having been table toppers at one point.
They are now sitting in 10th, 12 points adrift from league leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers and three points off the play off places, with Sunday’s clash welcoming the return of former manager Garry Monk to Elland Road for the first time since departing over the summer.
Christiansen looks set to make subtle changes to the side which were beaten 3-1 away at Brentford before the break, with Pierre-Michel Lasogga and and Eunan O’Kane likely to be replaced by the experienced Kemar Roofe and Pablo Hernandez in a narrow 4-2-3-1 formation.
At the back, Andy Lonergan, who suffered a shocker against the Bees, will likely retain his place, with the same back four set to start ahead of him.
In midfield, defensive duo Ronaldo Vieira and Kalvin Phillips can expect to be joined by 32-year-old Hernandez, who replaced O’Kane at half time against Brentford, and will offer some much needed experience and guile to the side.
Up top, Roofe was another half time swap made by Christiansen in their last match, replacing Lasogga, and he can be expected to line up on the left, with Samu Saiz taking a central role, while Ezgjan Alioski, who netted last time out, is likely to start on the other flank.
In other Leeds United news, a journalist has revealed why the club missed out on snapping up a top prospect over summer.