Tomorrow sees us take on Norwich City at Elland Road, a team mixed with serious quality and some players that are struggling to adapt to the Championship. The German revolution is struggling to take off but there has been some encouraging signs at times, and the likes of Alex Pritchard and James Maddison will be keen to impress at Elland Road. And don’t forget that man Nelson Olivieira, on his day the best striker in this division.
GK – Felix Wiedwald – A horrific error at Queens Park Rangers but it’s hard to argue with the fact that since he’s returned to the team we have looked much better defensively. Two goals conceded in three games, compared to eight in three games with Longeran before that. Maybe not the long-term answer, needs to cut out the errors, but our best option currently.
RB – Luke Ayling – He’s back and looks to be playing to his full capacity again. The international break was a line in the sand for a few players and none more-so than him. Has sorted his positioning out and is beginning find his stride. We needed him to be better and that is the case.
CB – Pontus Jansson – The return to form of Pontus Jansson has been key to the change in fortune in recent weeks. Some top performances have meant that we look so much more solid and that gives us the foundation to push on. If he plays well we always have a chance of winning the game.
CB – Liam Cooper – I wouldn’t say Liam Cooper has been brilliant in recent weeks but he’s building up his performances and has been solid since his disaster at Wolves. He will have his hands full with Pritchard, Hoolahan and Maddison all playing behind Oliviera tomorrow.
LB – Cameron Borthwick-Jackson – Our weakest point was the left-hand side against Queens Park Rangers. At times during the first half they were strolling down that side and Berardi wasn’t coping. It’s not a lack of effort I just don’t think he’s in his best form at the moment.
CM – Ronaldo Vieira – This is the area where the game will be won and lost tomorrow in my opinion. The attacking midfielders of Norwich can win the game if they are given the space, and Vieira is key to stopping that from happening.
CM – Eunan O’Kane – A players hugely out of form in recent times but I think we could do with his energy in front of the back four tomorrow, simply because of the opposition. I fully expect to see Phillips in there with Vieira but I wouldn’t go with O’Kane.
LW – Pablo Hernandez – Hopefully full fit but I’m writing this on Thursday so I’m unsure on his fitness. If he can continue his form he could really give the Norwich defenders a torrid day. His ability to create room for others is crucial to the team. Samu Saiz has had his two poorest games, his only two poor games actually since Hernadez went off against Villa a few weeks back.
CAM – Samu Saiz – As I have already said above he’s been very poor (for his own standards) the last two games but he will be back soon enough, and it isn’t a lack of trying, things just haven’t been coming off for him. Tomorrow he will find room, because Harrison Reed and Mario Vrancic aren’t naturally defensive minded midfielders.
RW – Gjanni Alioski – Has been so important since he returned from the international break and was probably the pick of the bunch in November. Added goals and end product recently and he is another who could really exploit the defensive vulnerability of Norwich City.
ST – Kemar Roofe – There is very little doubt about this, and Caleb Ekuban seems set for a spell out with injury so Roofe, in my opinion is now the number one striker. Three very good goals on Saturday means he is on nine for the season in all competitions. Long may it continue.