Leeds expected 4-2-3-1 v Reading: 25-year-old sidelined in only change
By Danny Wright
Leeds are expected to make just one change for their Championship clash at Reading on Saturday.
Chris Wood is likely to miss out after picking up a knock while on international duty with New Zealand, which will mean Garry Monk will be forced to choose between Souleymane Doukara and Marcus Antonsson to lead the line.
Doukara is the more likely choice and Leeds fans will be hoping he can add to his poor return of five league goals from 27 matches.
Wood is the Championship’s top goalscorer and it is doubtful that Monk will want to risk further aggravating the injury he picked up while playing for the Kiwis. He could well start on the bench and come on if needed.
Other than that, it is unlikely that Monk make any changes to the side that achieved a monumental 2-0 win over Brighton just before the international break.
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With Reading just two points behind Leeds, it’s imperative that Monk walks away from the Madejski Stadium with at least a point to solidify the club’s play-off chances.
Seventh-placed Fulham are in good form and are closing up quickly on the four teams who currently occupy the places between third and sixth.
Stuart Dallas, Modou Barrow and Pontus Jansson didn’t start in the last game but all featured for their nations over the last two weeks, meaning they could find themselves on the bench yet again.
Rob Green is likely to keep his place in goal with an unchanged back four of Gaetano Berardi, Kyle Bartley, Liam Cooper and Charlie Taylor.
Cooper played well when he deputised for Jansson against Brighton earlier this month, so Monk could call upon the 25-year-old to start again against Jaap Stam’s side.
Liam Bridcutt and Ronaldo Vieira have impressed this season so the duo are expected to keep their places in the more deeper roles of the Leeds midfield.
Hadi Sacko and Alfonso Pedraza played well on the wings against Brighton and should retain their spots in Monk’s starting eleven.
Pablo Hernandez is set to complete the line-up, starting in the No. 10 role just behind the recalled Doukara.
A victory for the West Yorkshire club could see them leapfrog fierce rivals Huddersfield into third place if results go their way and be within five points of the automatic promotion spots.
In other Leeds news, fans have reacted to Yann Kermorgants comments ahead of Saturday’s showdown.