A fresh start for so many players and it’s a chance for some to impress whilst others are unavailable for selection. Andy Lonergan tweeted today saying the players were flying in training under the new head-coach and you can quite believe it if you have seen clips of the training. The next few weeks are very tough and Paul Heckingbottom won’t be judged on that due to the absentee list and how difficult the games are but what we want to see is something different from the awful football we watched under Thomas Christiansen recently.
GK – Felix Wiedwald – The goalkeeper will now need to re-establish himself in the first-team but you would expect he will start tomorrow. Sheffield United will put balls into the Leeds box as soon as they can, Billy Sharp and Leon Clarke will want to rough Wiedwald up.
RB – Stuart Dallas – Purely because Vurnon Anita has had no football at all recently I would play Dallas in at right-back for the time being. I think the Northern Irish winger will end up a regular under Heckingbottom down the flanks, but tomorrow he’s needed in this role.
CB – Matthew Pennington – Probably the only centre-back fully fit and he will have his hands full tomorrow. He played much better in the second half against Cardiff but first was a nightmare. He was bullied by Madine and Clarke will fancy his chances up against him tomorrow.
CB – Pontus Jansson – Great news that he is fit for the game tomorrow, without him I’m unsure who we would play to be honest. His confidence has taken a huge hit, probably because Thomas Christiansen hasn’t been picking the right team and the defence has been bombarded.
LB – Laurens De Bock – De Bock has impressed me despite the tough start he has had in terms of results. He has a bit of everything. Loves a tackle but is also very calm and composed on the ball. If Jansson wasn’t fit I think we would have seen him at centre-back.
RW – Hadi Sacko – One of the players who will be delighted at a new head-coach. Under Thomas Christiansen his confidence was smashed and he needs time on the pitch. What Sacko does is gets us into positions where we cause problems. Heckingbottom improved a few wingers at Barnsley, can he do the same with Sacko?
CM – Adam Forshaw – All of a sudden we have a player in the middle of the pitch who can control the pace of how we play, although he came in at a time when the team was on its arse. Has rarely given the ball away since coming to the club, a key player tomorrow.
CM – Ronaldo Vieira – Hasn’t been playing well but if anyone in this league will put in the young players and develop them it’s Paul Heckingbottom and Vieira needs to push on now. He’s due a good game, and he will want to impress the new coach.
LW – Pablo Hernandez – Although I think Gjanni Alioksi will start and we won’t play a flat four I would start Pablo off the left. In an ideal world he would play in a deeper role with Adam Forshaw or Ronaldo Vieira when Samu Saiz is back, that is a discussion for another day.
ST – Pierre-Michel Lasogga – In terms of improvement he is certainly on the up, but he missed a glorious chance in the last game, as well as almost scoring from 30 yards. In the end the miss was a blessing in disguise, because Christiansen needed to go and a result may have kept him in the job for another week, before the same performance came around.
ST – (If Fit) – Tyler Roberts – If Roberts does make it I think we should just throw him in at the deep end. Heckingbottom knows the player, having tried to sign him various times at Barnsley and now he has him on a three-and-a-half-year-deal. Roofe needs a rest, but may have to play as things stand.