With Eunan O’Kane struggling to make the game on Saturday we have the first change in a league game in the midfield. O’Kane has partnered Kalvin Phillips so far this season but we now need that deep playmaker replaced, and we have two possible options, Ronaldo Vieira or Mateusz Klich.
O’Kane has been the most consistent player at the club this season in my opinion. He has been very good both on and off the ball and he has been the player to keep us ticking over. He has been more crucial in the away games as he has been the screen in front of the defence that many were worried about. O’Kane is a natural ball player and it’s fair to say he isn’t known for his aggression or tackling but he has shown both when needed in the away games, especially at Sunderland and Nottingham Forest. In Ronaldo Vieira we have that natural aggression, and maybe that is why he will start on Saturday against Burton.
Controlled aggression is the best way to describe Ronaldo Vieira and I think it’s a matter of time before we see the best of him again this season. His international success in the summer has cost him his place in the team at the start of the season, of that there is little doubt. He looked jaded during spells in pre-season and didn’t really perform to his usual standard. He was a late sub against Preston North End at Elland Road and instantly improved the side with Phillips having a poor game in the middle of the pitch. Just days later when we all expected him to start he didn’t even make the squad.
Mateusz Klich may well get the nod after impressing in league cup games. I think of all the midfielders at the club he is the one who can play in the most advanced role but he is more than capable of playing deeper if needs be. His best attributes are getting on the ball and playing it through the lines, linking up with the likes of Samu Saiz seemed to come naturally and what I like about him is that he is always progressive with the ball. He has struggled with fitness after a bad injury during pre-season that basically ruled him out of the entire thing and has also cost him the chance to make a start in the league so far. Both are very good options, and Thomas Christiansen will have a nice headache if they come in and play well, with Tuesday against Birmingham to follow.