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Leeds United welcome Brighton and Hove Albion to Elland Road on Saturday evening in the EFL Championship for what promises to be a huge clash with great ramifications at the top of the table.
Garry Monk’s side are currently fourth in the table with 66 points from 37 matches while the Seagulls are second, 11 points better off and only behind leaders Newcastle United on goal-difference. Leeds have faltered slightly in recent weeks, drawing their last two matches 1-1 against Fulham and 0-0 against QPR. They will be desperate to get back to winning ways to ensure their place in the top six is not in jeopardy. The last time the two teams met, Chris Hughton’s men defeated the Whites 2-0.
The only two absentees for Leeds will be full-back Luke Ayling, who will miss two games due to 10 yellow card accumulations and midfielder Kalvin Philipps who will be serving his second match suspension after receiving a red card against Fulham two weeks back.
In goal it will be the veteran goalkeeper Rob Green. The 37-year old notched up his 600th appearance last week and will be hoping to keep another clean sheet on Saturday.
With Luke Ayling unavailable due to suspension, we will see Gaetano Berardi switch to the right-side of the defence.
In the heart of the defence will be Kyle Bartley. The Swansea loanee had a few shaky moments last week, but has been largely consistent this season.
And alongside Jansson it will be the ever-so impressive and ever reliable Pontus Jansson. The 26-year old has been one of the best centre-halves in the Championship this season and is a certain starter.
With Berardi shifting to right-back, it is obvious that the highly impressive Charlie Taylor will return to the line-up at left-back.
In the middle of the park, it will be 26-year old Liam Bridcutt. The captain did not have the best of the games against QPR last week and will hope to stand up for his team this Saturday.
Alongside the captain, it will be the young Ronaldo Vieira. The 18-year old brings a combative presence to the midfield and will start for Leeds.
With Kemar Roofe struggling to impress out wide last week, we believe it should be Stuart Dallas on the right-flank, ahead of the ineffective Hadi Sacko.
The Spaniard had a poor outing against QPR last time around, but he is the Whites’ main creator. Expect him to bounce back against the Seagulls.
The youngster has shown glimpses of potential on the flanks and we think Monk will stick with him for Saturday’s clash.
And leading the line will be Chris Wood. The Kiwi is the highest goalscorer in the Championship with 22 goals and will be crucial for Leeds if they are to get a positive result against Brighton.