Leeds expected 4-2-3-1 v Nottingham Forest: Two changes as 25-year-old ace returns
By Will Butcher
Garry Monk is expected to make two changes to his Leeds side to face struggling Nottingham Forest at Elland Road.
Leeds play host to managerless Forest in the Championship on Wednesday night, and are expected to get back to winning ways against the two-time European champions.
Monk’s side went down 3-2 at Oakwell to Paul Heckingbottom’s Barnsley, which sees them drop into fourth in the Championship table behind Huddersfield.
The Yorkshire giants will be hoping to put the loss behind them by handing first-team returns to 25-year-old stopper Pontus Jansson and ex-Bournemouth ace Eunan O’Kane.
The inclusion of the two Leeds stars will see Lewie Coyle and Ronaldo Vieira drop out, with Luke Ayling moving across to right-back after deputising for Torino loanee Jansson.
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Sweden international Jansson returns to the side after serving a two-match suspension for picking up 10 yellow cards, the last coming against Cambridge United in the FA Cup.
Swedish publication Fotbollskanalen claim that Leeds’ number 18 must play one more match before Leeds pay £3.4million to Serie A side Torino, meaning his permanent switch could occur immediately after Wednesday night’s clash.
Jansson will return to the side to partner Kyle Bartley, while O’Kane looks to have overcome a groin problem after coming on as a substitute against Barnsley and will partner Liam Bridcutt.
Rob Green remains Leeds’ undisputed number one goalkeeper with Marco Silvestri on the bench, while Ayling reverts to his natural position of right-back.
One-time Switzlerland international Gaetano Berardi starts at left-back in place of the injured Charlie Taylor, while striker Souleymane Doukara continues on the left.
He will look to form a quarter of Leeds’ four-man attack that includes twinkle-toed playmaker Pablo Hernandez and £3million summer signing Kemar Roofe, who will start on the right.
Those three attacking midfielders will look to supply top scorer Chris Wood with the chance to fire Leeds to three points, after he took his goal tally to 19 on Saturday night with a brace.
A win against Forest will see Leeds go into third place for the time being, as Huddersfield’s next game in the Championship takes place on February 2 against Brighton.
In other Leeds news, this Monk outcast will be back at Elland Road in the summer.