Leeds predicted 4-2-3-1 v Birmingham: Attacker omitted

By Coral Barry

Steve Evans will have an almost fully fit squad to chose from when Leeds travel to Birmingham on Tuesday night looking for their first win in the Championship for four games.

The Leeds boss threw his support behind Chris Wood after the striker struggled in front of goal in the narrow 1-0 defeat to Burnley last Saturday and Evans is expected to keep faith with his star frontman against the Blues.

Wood missed two sitters in the second half against the Clarets, but is in line to resume his duties as Leeds’ lone striker which means joint topscorer Mirco Antenucci is likely to remain on the bench.

The Italian scored four goals in March in Wood’s absence, but has been demoted from a starting position in the last two league games with his fellow striker starting upfront alone.

Wood and Antenucci are battling for the goalscoring accolades at Leeds this season with both forwards bagging nine Championship goals.

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Liam Bridcutt is due to miss the clash after Evans confirmed on Monday that the midfielder has failed to shrug off the thigh problem that kept him out of the weekend fixture.

Other than Bridcutt, Evans has no fresh injury concerns heading to the clash and is unlikely to tinker too much with the side that lost to Burnley.

Leeds will be looking to reignite their season, with the Yorkshire club stranded in 15th with neither a play-off fight or a relegation battle to concern them.

Toumani Diagouraga is expected to keep his place in the side after being restored to the starting eleven in the last game and he will line up behind Football League Young Player of the Year nominee, Lewis Cook.

Young gun: Cook’s performances this season has seen recognition from inside and outside Elland Road

It was announced on Monday that the 19-year-old has made the three man shortlist for the coveted award in a season that has seen Cook become one of the brightest of England’s young stars.

Evans praised Cook after the Burnley game and his contribution in the attacking midfielder role will no doubt play a huge part in any Leeds success and possibly any Cook goal.

At the other end of the park, Evans will have to decide whether to stick or twist at centre-back with Sol Bamba and Giuseppe Bellusci both available to partner Liam Cooper.

Souleymane Doukara is out with the striker serving the fourth of his eight-match ban for biting.

Leeds (possible): Silvestri; Berardi, Bamba, Cooper, Taylor; Diagouraga, Murphy; Dallas, Cook, Carayol; Wood.

In other Leeds news, Cooper was unimpressed with his team’s performance at the weekend.