Leeds United take on Derby County at Elland Road later tonight in what will be a big game for both the teams.
The two sides are hoping for promotion this season and while Leeds are at the top of the table, Derby occupy the final playoff spot.
The Whites have lost their last three games in all competitions and will hope to end the torrid run and pick up their first win of 2019.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side were pretty consistent in the first half of the season that saw them finish the year at the top of the table, but the form has dipped and that has subsequently seen their lead at the top of the table reduce to two points.
Leeds picked up a comfortable 4-1 win against the Rams when the two sides last faced off in August but the game on Friday night is likely to be more competitive.
Leeds United Team News
There haven’t been too many games this season where Bielsa has had a fully fit squad to choose from, has there? Pablo Hernandez is the latest to join the long list of those in doubt and Bielsa revealed in his pre-match press conference that the Spaniard will not feature if he is not 100% fit.
Barry Douglas is unlikely to feature, so we could see young Tom Pearce get a chance. Liam Cooper is fit again, but it would be surprising if Bielsa decides to start with him. Kalvin Phillips is still serving his suspension.
Predicted Leeds United Lineup
Aapo Halme is expected to take his place at the back alongside Pontus Jansson. The game might have come too early for Cooper who might get a few minutes off the bench at best.
Young full-back Pearce might get a start on the left considering Bielsa is short of options. Pearce has featured in just two Championship games so far this season, but did play two full games in the EFL Cup last year.
Luke Ayling should take his place at right-back, while Bailey Peacock-Farrell is expected to line up in goal.
Adam Forshaw will take his place in the defensive midfield role and the duo of Tyler Roberts and Mateusz Klich are expected to play in the advanced midfield roles. Jack Clarke and Ezgjan Alioski could start on the flanks.
With Patrick Bamford out, Kemar Roofe is the only real option Bielsa has at the moment and the Englishman is expected to lead the line later tonight.
Clarke – Klich – Roberts – Alioski
Pearce – Halme – Jansson – Ayling