By Wayne Veysey

11th Jan, 2017 | 1:18pm

Leeds team news: Defender double blow, and key duo in race against time to face Derby

By Alex Stevens

Leeds have been hit by a double defensive blow ahead of their Friday night league clash against promotion rivals Derby.

Manager Garry Monk revealed on Wednesday that left-back Charlie Taylor will miss the clash after failing to recover from an achilles problem.

“Charlie Taylor won’t be ready, we hope he will be available sooner rather than later, he is being assessed daily,” said Monk, as quoted by the official Leeds Twitter account.

The 23-year-old will be joined on the sidelines by fellow defender Pontus Jansson, who is suspended for the Elland Road showdown after his 10th booking of the season against Cambridge on Monday night triggered an automatic two-match suspension.

Monk has other availability issues ahead of the match, which pits his fifth-placed team against Steve McClaren’s side, who are seventh in the division.

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Centre-back Liam Cooper is in a race against time bid to be fit for Friday night after suffering a knock in the win over Cambridge that forced him to leave the League Two venue on crutches.

Additionally, winger Hadi Sacko picked up a knee problem that forced him out of Monday’s match, according to the Twitter account of Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Lee Sobot.

The reporter quoted Monk as saying Sacko “was always going to miss the Cambridge game” and he is “hopeful” the speedy wide man is fit to face Derby.

Leeds go into the clash at Elland Road aiming to secure their sixth win from seven matches in all competitions and build on their excellent start to the new year.

In other Leeds news, Monk has made a major January transfer admission as he revealed this is the midfielder deal he wants to seal this month.

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