Tomorrow night we head to Burnley for the next round of the League Cup and a meeting with a couple of old but familiar faces. Thomas Christiansen takes charge of is 3rd game in the competition, winning 4-1 and 5-1 in the first two against League Two opposition. Tomorrow we have a totally different beats to contend with and I don’t mean the opposition, I mean the balance between the cup and the league.
Changes need to be made but I also think changes need to be made for Saturday and the visit of Ipswich Town. getting that balance right will be very important because the players looked shattered on Saturday at Millwall. We also have to make sure we don’t get a beating at the hands of the Premier League side so the team selection will be very interesting and important for the Spanish head-coach. Here is what I have gone for.
My XI vs Burnley
GK – Andy Lonergan – The back-up keeper needs some time on the pitch without a doubt. This is the perfect chance for him to get some minutes under his belt and a game he is sure to be busy in. Everyone knows Felix Wiedwald is the first choice.
RB – Gaetano Berardi – A bit like Lonergan this is the perfect chance to get minutes for Gaetano Berardi who is still getting back up to speed after dislocating his shoulder on the opening day of the season at Bolton. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him start on Saturday against Ipswich Town either.
CB – Conor Shaugnessy – The youngster has been very impressive in the early stages of his Leeds United career. He didn’t have a great game at Millwall but in all fairness he didn’t do much wrong either. He is nailed on to start the game at Burnley for me. It’s important we play him when we can to help him develop.
CB – Liam Cooper – Cooper missed the game at Millwall and we want him ready for the Ipswich game so I think he will get a run. Matthew Pennington may play if he is fit which is fair enough but I think Luke Ayling needs a rest after starting every game this season both league and cup.
LB – Cameron Borthwick-Jackson – For me he is a player who needs to be in the first-team. Vurnon Anita has been struggling the last few weeks and the pace and energy of Borthwick-Jackson could be important in the big games coming up.
CM – Ronaldo Vieira – Vieira would have been ideal at Millwall on Saturday, the fight and aggression missing from our side but it wasn’t fair to drop either O’Kane or Phillips. I think a good game tomorrow could see Vieira force his way back into the plans for the starting XI against Ipswich.
CM – Mateusz Klich – The Polish midfielder has had it tough since arriving from Holland in the summer. He has been impressing in patches of League Cup games but he hasn’t had a chance to really show what he’s about in the big games yet. Tomorrow will be interesting.
RW – Gjanni Alioski – Alioski had a very poor game at Millwall, one of the worst performers and I think playing in against this sort of opposition will do him the world of good. He would be up against Charlie Taylor and we know he can defend. I would start Dallas for one reason, he needs to be starting Saturday for me.
CAM – Kemar Roofe – I also think Roofe may start the game on Saturday but this role won’t burn him out like I think the wing could Dallas. Roofe had his best ever game in a Leeds shirt and hasn’t started a game since so he needs to keep those standards up.
LW – Pawel Cibicki – A first chance for the Swedish under 21 international to show what he’s all about. Thomas Christiansen hasn’t had the chance to play him yet in all fairness so tomorrow is the perfect chance for him. Playing from the left gives him less focus than the lone striker role.
ST – Jay-Roy Grot – The big Dutch striker has had the chance to impress in the last three games but hasn’t really done it. It’s been very hard to work out what style of player he is but starting a game will help us see what the big man can do.