Leeds United may have “targeted” Ahmed Elmohamady as a weak link for Aston Villa ahead of Saturday, according to Alex McLeish.
The former Villa and Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted out-and-out defending was not the 33-year-old’s forte and that he may come unstuck against a rampant Leeds attack.
The Egypt international started the 2-1 defeat against Leicester City in place of the injured Matty Cash.
The summer signing is set to miss out again at Elland Road with a hamstring injury.
Leeds head into Saturday’s tie off the back of a 3-0 win over Southampton.
With Elmohamady likely to keep his place, McLeish admitted the Egyptian full-back was not the like-for-like replacement Dean Smith would want to call upon.
“Elmohamady has been more known as going forward,” McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge.
“The defensive aspect has never been his massive forte. I guess that is why he may have been targeted.
“That’s the problem in terms of recruitment, sometimes you don’t have the guys that fit the sleeve. Elmohamady is getting towards the end of his career, I would think at 33.
“He’s never really been a regular and it does weaken your team when you lose your best players. We’ve seen it with Liverpool.”
Elmohamady has played 10 times for Aston Villa this season, although he only has two league starts under his belt.
Meanwhile, Cash has been a mainstay since joining from Forest, with 21 top-flight starts to his name.