Predicted Leeds United Lineup To Face Newcastle United
With Newcastle missing several key personnel and having lost the tea-time game at Sheffield Wednesday last week, Leeds will arrive on Tyneside fully expecting to upset the applecart.
A fine 3-0 win against Preston last week means Leeds remain 5 points ahead of Fulham in 7th place and look good for the playoffs. The Elland Road side cannot rely on their home games for points and come to Newcastle looking to end a run of 3 away games without a win.
The quality of the opposition in those away games has been good, but the performances at Reading and Brentford recently were below the required standard and a big improvement will be needed here.
Expected Starting XI:
Manager: Garry Monk
GK – Rob Green
A former World Cup player with England and though he’s not at that level now, he should keep his place. The blunder he made for Dwight Gayle’s first goal in the reverse fixture will still be in his memory.
RB – Luke Ayling
Will need to test Paul Dummett going forward, but should watch the movement of Ayoze Perez who can drift to that side to help out Yoan Gouffran.
CB – Kyle Bartley
The usual centre-back pairing will be fully motivated for this and will be on their toes for the entire 90 minutes of the game.
CB – Pontus Jansson
Will partner Bartley in what is a crucial battle in Leeds’ chances for promotion. Jansson will look to be at his usual best to nullify Mitrovic’s threat.
LB – Charlie Taylor
May replace Berardi but will have to watch out for Ritchie’s runs inside him from Newcastle’s right. He will have a torrid time against the in-form Ritchie if he doesn’t stay focused.
CM – Ronaldo Vieira
The young midfielder will need to be clever in positioning to avoid being bypassed by Shelvey’s range of passing.
CM – Kalvin Phillips
Will need to be on the ball to help Taylor out, should Ritchie drift inside as usual and torture the opponents with his quality.
RW – Kemar Roofe
Can provide some pace and attacking threat to Newcastle. He may have the beating of Dummett, so an ability to release the ball or find crosses for Wood could bring rewards.
CAM – Pablo Hernandez
Very talented and with an eye for a killer pass, the Spaniard could be a target for the Newcastle defenders, to ensure he does not have time on the ball with which he could hurt the home side.
LW – Alfonso Pedraza
The young Spaniard will need to be at his best to make an impact here. Benitez will be banking on him to cause some damage to Newcastle.
ST – Chris Wood
Leeds’ top scorer by a long way. Jamaal Lascelles will relish the battle with him but Wood needs to ensure that he looks to get away from defenders and find space rather than enjoy the battle and hustle and bustle too much.