First of all, a Happy Christmas to all Leeds fans, and anyone else who might be reading this today. It’s been a great year for the website, reaching well over 1.5 million views which is staggering for someone who started out just wanting to write what I thought about the football club I love. Anyway, back to the business, Burton Albion tomorrow, and it has to be changes with this schedule. Time to use some of the squad.
GK – Felix Wiedwald – There are a few positions that don’t need to be changed and this is one of them. Wiedwald has got himself back into the side and was easily the man of the match in the win over Hull City. He had pulled off a brilliant save against Norwich the week before as well.
RB – Vurnon Anita – We absolutely have to rest players and Luke Ayling got in bang on when he said one of the main failings of last season was Garry Monk not rotating the squad. Anita can come in and do a job, leaving Ayling fresh for the next game. The full-back positions are demanding physically and it looked like Ayling was struggling against Hull City. Back in for Birmingham.
CB – Pontus Jansson – The centre-backs should be alright given the demand physically on them. They work hard but in terms of output others will need a rest before them. Jansson and Cooper are playing so well together it seems daft to change them anyway. If Christiansen was to, we would probably see Matthew Pennington replace Cooper.
CB – Liam Cooper – Same as the above really, I fully expect Cooper to captain the side over the next three games despite the closeness of them.
LB – Gaetano Berardi – Luke Ayling has played in every game this season unlike Gaetano Berardi so I expect him to be fine to play tomorrow, if anything Anita may well replace him at Birmingham or at home to Forest. Best game of the season for me on Saturday against Hull.
CM – Ronaldo Vieira – If Matty Klich was in the plans this would be the perfect time for him to be coming into the fold but he quite clearly isn’t. Vieira will have to play most of these games, simple as that. He is the rock in the middle of the pitch but he can’t be expected to do the work he did on Saturday in all of the games, Phillips and O’Kane need to step up.
CM – Eunan O’Kane – perfect player to be coming back into the side in this period. He came on against Hull and couldn’t really stamp his authority on the game but showed glimpses of his burrowing runs forward. On a tight pitch at Burton, it’s the ideal game for him to get on the ball and drive forward.
RW – Pawel Cibicki – Maybe he will be rested and Alioski will play but Alioski will need a rest at some stage and maybe the narrow pitch at Burton won’t suit him. I do think he could be a key player at Birmingham, providing an outlet that potentially wins us the game. All will be used in the next few games.
CAM – Samu Saiz – He should be fit for this game according to Thomas Christiansen and in all honesty the rest will have done him the world of good. Such and important player for us and what he did to Burton earlier in the season will scare the defenders in yellow tomorrow.
LW – Pablo Hernandez – I love Alioski and what he can bring but for me this is the perfect time for a rest, and back fresh for the next couple of games. That finish from Pablo will have him brimming with confidence and Saiz back will help him massively, I expect a big game.
ST – Pierre-Michel Lasogga – Kemar Roofe will need a rest, his work rate has been bloody brilliant and I would expect him to start two of the next three games but the physical side of things could drain him. Lasogga needs to get back into it, give him an hour at Burton and give him some service.