The FA Cup is back, the magic, the low attendances and sponsors in all its glory. However when Leeds come to town the low attendances aren’t realistic and for some teams it gives the chance of an upset, or indeed meeting and old rival you haven’t played in a while. Maybe both at the same time. We head to South Wales for a tricky encounter. You don’t have to look far back to find our last meeting, this season in the League Cup and a 5-1 win for Leeds. Kemar Roofe hat-trick, Samu Saiz and Ronaldo Vieira scored the goals. Big changes are expected.
GK – Andy Lonergan – An obvious choice for this game although it may be a good chance for Will Huffer to get a shot on the bench, the England youth team goalkeeper a bright prospect. Longergan last played at Wolves in the 4-1 defeat.
RB – Vurnon Anita – I think Anita was treated unfairly on Monday. Admittedly he had a poor game but he hadn’t kicked a ball in months and was then expected to slot straight into a game that was already in full swing. Players need a game here and there to keep sharp.
CB – Conor Shaughnessy – For me he is a centre-back and in all but one game this season he has impressed hugely. Very good and composed on the ball and level-headed. Surely in line to start in the game, and hopefully he shows his talent.
CB – Matthew Pennington – Has been coming off the bench for the last five minutes recently when we are defending a single goal lead and tomorrow gives him the chance of a full 90 minutes. One thing we learned against Newport was that they were very quick. He’ll need to make sure the full-backs are covered.
LB – Cameron Borthwick-Jackson – Potentially his last game for the club but hopefully he impresses and starts challenging the left-back spot. Very talented player but hasn’t taken the fancy of Thomas Christiansen since he arrived at the club.
CM – Mateusz Klich – Has featured during the cup games and for me this is his chance to show how good he is. I have been impressed when he has played but various reasons have meant that he isn’t in the plans really. A big performance at Newport could make Christiansen think.
CM – Eunan O’Kane (c) – Hasn’t played loads of football recently and this game could do him the world of good. A talented player who has lost his way slightly this season. I would give him the captaincy for the game and let him advance with the ball, allowing Klich to tuck in behind.
RW – Hadi Sacko – In and out in terms of getting in the match day squads and it could be a big game for the player. Totally lost his confidence at the start of the season and hasn’t recovered. He needs to make sure he gets at Newport because he should be dominating his side of the pitch.
LW – Pawel Cibicki – Started a few games on the bounce, started very well but then struggled in the away fixtures. He will want to get off the mark in a Leeds shirt sooner rather than later, but has the chance to hopefully start and impress again in Newport.
ST – Pierre-Michel Lasogga – Needs games to get fit. Very talented footballer, we have seen that but really needs to get back into the swing of it. Has the chance to show how good he can be against defenders who won’t cope with him if he turns up.
ST – Jay-Roy Grot – The lad needs a game. This is a game where he should be able to assert himself, he hasn’t had a good start to life in Leeds but only one thing will get him back on track and that’s a goal. Ross McCormack didn’t score a goal for nearly a full season before netting. Goals breed confidence and Grot could do with both.