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Fourth-placed Leeds United will host the struggling Queens Park Rangers at the Elland Road on Saturday, in the EFL Championship.
Gary Monk’s side had a decent week with a 3-1 away win against Birmingham City followed by a 1-1 draw against Fulham at Craven Cottage. However, they will be hoping to cut the gap at the top and put some pressure on Brighton & Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town, who are second and third in the table respectively. The Hoops had given Leeds a thrashing last time the two teams met, beating them 3-0 at the Loftus Road. But a reversal of fortunes might be on the cards with the form that the Peacocks are in.
Monk will be able to recall full-back Luke Ayling who returned to training, after missing out against Fulham as he attended the birth of his child. Striker Chris Wood is also available post a precautionary rest against the Cottagers. Midfielder Kalvin Phillips will be unavailable for two games due to suspension after receiving a red card against Fulham.
The 37-year old shot stopper continues to defy his age and put in strong performances week in week out. He will take his place between the sticks on Saturday.
The right-back missed the midweek game against Fulham. But we expect him to make a return to the playing XI, replacing Berardi.
In the central defence it will be Swansea loanee Kyle Bartley. The 25-year old has been an ever-present for Leeds this term and has been absolutely majestic this season.
Alongside Bartley, it will be the reliable Pontus Jansson. The 26-year old has been one of the best defenders in the Championship this season and brings the solidity to the defence.
And completing the back four will be 23-year old full-back Charlie Taylor. The Englishman has earned rave reviews for his performances this season and should hold on to his place at left-back.
In one of the two pivots in the midfield, it will be former Sunderland man and club captain Liam Bridcutt. The 26-year old will be tasked with shielding the Leeds defence against the Hoops.
And alongside Bridcutt, we expect 18-year Ronaldo Viera to feature from the get-go. The midfielder will replace Kalvin Phillips who is ruled out for the game due to suspension.
On the right wing, we expect the 25-year old Dallas come into the starting XI. He will be replacing Hadi Sacko, who had an ineffective outing against Fulham.
The 31-year Spaniard should return to the first-team after sitting out in the midweek, in place of Kemar Roofe. Hernandez has been the main creative outlet for Leeds this season, having created 66 chances and Monk will be hoping for more of the same on Saturday.
Alfonso Pedraza scored against Birmingham and had his chances against Fulham. This should tempt Monk into choosing him over Souleymane Doukara.
And leading the line will be 25-year old Chris Wood. Leeds United’s leading goalscorer missed the game against Fulham as a precautionary measure. But having trained this week should be reinstated to the line-up.