Vieira starts in Monk 4-3-3: Leeds best possible XI to face Liverpool
COMMENT By Dominic Toner
Ronaldo Vieira should be recalled to Leeds starting line-up against Liverpool in Tuesday’s EFL Cup quarter-final match.
The visitors will be strongest if they make two changes, with academy product Vieira and centre-back Pontus Jansson returning to the side.
Liam Cooper and Kemar Roofe should be dropped from the side following the narrow 2-1 victory against Rotherham in the Championship.
Leeds should switch from their normal 4-2-3-1 formation to a more solid 4-3-3, which should cope better with the attacking threat of Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp’s side will be expected to dominate possession at Anfield and Leeds will need to be set up to deal with that.
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Monk has made several changes for the club’s EFL Cup matches this season, but must field his strongest XI as they try to reach the semi-finals of the competition.
Leeds should stick with a settled back four as Jansson returns from a one-game suspension and experienced goalkeeper Rob Green maintains his place.
Cooper played well in the victory against Rotherham but Jansson has struck up a formidable partnership alongside Kyle Bartley at centre-back, with Charlie Taylor and Luke Ayling both consistent performers this season in the full-back positions.
Monk must switch to a three-man midfield to contend with the Liverpool side and 18-year-old Vieira should join Eunan O’Kane and Kalvin Phillips in the centre.
Youngster Vieira is proving to be the latest talent emerging from the club’s youth system and would help provided some extra defensive cover.
Leeds should stick with their two quick wingers Hadi Sacko and Souleymane Doukara as they look to hit Liverpool on the break, but they could slot back into defensive positions when the side are without possession.
Chris Wood must start against Leeds and will provide the main goal threat for Monk’s side as he has scored 12 goals in 21 games across all competitions this campaign.
The striker is likely to be isolated for much of the game but he has the strength and skill to hold the ball up for his team-mates.
In other Leeds team news, three of the club’s players can inspire them to promotion.