After a 1-1 draw against Sunderland at the Elland Road in their last Championship fixture, Leeds United are due to make a trip to Deepdale to face Preston North End in their next league game. The Whites need to engineer a strong finish to what has been an unproductive season for them and a win against the Lilywhites would be a welcome stride towards that direction.
Leeds United Team News
Liam Cooper is back in training after his leg injury but he is unlikely to be rushed into the starting line-up. Gaetano Berardi is suspended for the upcoming fixture after seeing red for his needless challenge in the clash against Chris Coleman’s troops.
While Luke Ayling is out for the rest of the season owing to his ankle injury, Conor Shaughnessy is still a few weeks away from being fit. Adam Forshaw and Laurens De Bock are expected to return to training in a couple of days or so but Paul Heckingbottom is still sweating over the fitness of Eunan O’Kane and Matthew Pennington.
Here is how we expect Heckingbottom to roll out his starting line-up against Preston North End.
Bailey Peacock-Farrell has been doing a fine job under the bar and he is set to be given the nod to start as the goalkeeper in the upcoming league fixture as well.
Paudie O’Connor made his debut against the Black Cats and he fared well enough to keep his place in the starting line-up. The youngster is likely to start alongside Pontus Jansson in the heart of the defence of the Yorkshire based outfit.
Stuart Dallas was terrible in the right-back slot against Sunderland and it would make very little sense to play the winger out of his natural position once again. Thus, Tyler Denton might start from right-back whereas Vurnon Anita is expected to operate from the left-back position.
Ronaldo Vieira and Kalvin Phillips might start from the middle of the park yet again. Vieira showcased immense work-rate against Sunderland whereas Phillips made some very good passes and tackles. Meanwhile, Samuel Saiz is likely to ply his trade as the central attacking midfielder.
Up top, we expect Heckingbottom to replace Pierre-Michel Lasogga with Caleb Ekuban. The former has flattered to deceive for quite some time now and Ekuban should be a wise choice for the clash against Alex Neil’s side.
Pablo Hernandez found the back of the net against Sunderland and his attacking prowess would be crucial in the midweek fixture. The Spaniard is anticipated to operate from the left-wing once again and from the right flank, we expect Ezgjan Alioski to get the green light to start.