Leeds blow as quartet ruled out of showdown against Brighton - BBC journalist
By Alex Stevens
Four Leeds players have been ruled out of Saturday’s Championship clash against promotion rivals Brighton, according to a reliable journalist.
BBC correspondent Adam Pope took to Twitter to report that suspended duo Luke Ayling and Kalvin Phillips would be joined on the sidelines by injured full-back pair Lewie Coyle and Tyler Denton.
Pope, who was covering Garry Monk’s pre-match press conference on Thursday afternoon, gave the update on his personal Twitter account as news emerged of the availability of Leeds’ players.
Team news for #lufc sounds just Ayling & Phillips suspended with Coyle & Denton injured.
— Adam Pope (@APOPEY) March 16, 2017
Manager Monk reported a clean bill of health for his squad bar Denton, 21, who recently underwent knee surgery, and his fellow Elland Road academy product Coyle, 21, who is still out with the injury that has sidelined him since early February.
Phillips is serving the second match of a two-game suspension incurred for his red card in the 1-1 draw against Fulham last week.
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Ayling is also unavailable after his 10th booking of the season against QPR last weekend triggered an automatic one-match ban.
The right-back would has been a mainstay of the team this season, starting all but two of Leeds’ 37 Championship matches, and is likely to be missed as the fourth-placed team host second-placed Brighton at Elland Road.
Charlie Taylor is expected to replace Ayling in the starting XI, with Gaetano Berardi switching across from left-back to his more natural right-back slot.
Coyle has made nine appearances for Leeds this season despite missing nearly three months with ankle ligament damage.
He was a regular member of the matchday when he returned to fitness before breaking down for the second time in what has been a stop-start campaign for the youngster.
Denton has played in three matches for the Yorkshire giants this season but is behind Charlie Taylor and Gaetano Berardi in the left-back pecking order.
In other Leeds news, the Yorkshire giants are in shock talks to sign a Liverpool attacking player.