COMMENT By Will Butcher
Leeds will secure their 18th Championship win of the season if they start Modou Barrow against Cardiff on Saturday.
The 24-year-old made his debut against Huddersfield on Sunday as a substitute, as Garry Monk’s side lost 2-1 to their Yorkshire rivals.
In order to get back to winning ways and kick-start their promotion push, Monk must start his on-loan Gambia international to give Leeds their best chance of claiming three points.
Neil Warnock’s side have little pace at the back. Jazz Richards, Matthew Connolly, Sean Morrison and Sol Bamba started in a four-man defence during their 1-0 loss to Norwich, but none of them are renowned for their speed. Starting Swansea loanee Barrow will give the winger a chance to show just what he is capable of doing, as he possesses bags of speed that Cardiff will struggle to deal with. January’s deadline-day signing will be able to get in behind the Welsh outfit and that could be crucial in seeing Leeds add three points to their Championship tally.
Dallas and Doukara
The duo’s inconsistent form from out-wide in recent matches was apparent once again against Huddersfield, as they lacked the attacking bite that they have shown in glimpses throughout the 2016-17 campaign. Monk will be aware that he needs all of his starting players to be firing on all cylinders if the Yorkshire giants are to maintain their promotion push this season, and dropping both Stuart Dallas and Souleymane Doukara could see a new Leeds hero emerge in Barrow.
Making 55 appearances in all competitions for Swansea, the four-time international will be pumped for Saturday’s clash against the Swans rivals Cardiff and that could bring out the best in Barrow. His desire to get one over his parent club’s rivals could prove crucial for Monk’s Leeds side, with three points enough to take them to third in the Championship table and just four points away from the automatic promotion places, if Brighton, Huddersfield and Reading lose. Barrow could be the architect of Cardiff’s downfall, and starting will only bolster Leeds in the final third.