There’s change in the air at Elland Road and today’s televised game against Sheffield United represents Paul Heckingbottom’s first game in charge of the Whites and, thus, his first team selection.
Former head coach Thomas Christiansen cut a forlorn figure over the month of January with a string of bad results and worse player discipline effectively costing him his job. With Christiansen’s departure, Leeds United thoughts turn to his successor Heckingbottom.
Today’s derby game pitting West vs South Yorkshire will also be one where suspended midfielders Kalvin Phillips and Eunan O’Kane come back into reckoning, having served out their respective bans. Both of these are seemingly in the matchday squad as per the following video.
Leeds United players arrive at Brammall Lane
— Leeds United (@LUFC) February 10, 2018
Leeds United team news
Heckingbottom has sprung something of a surprise dropping influential Spanish playmaker Pablo Hernandez to the bench for today’s game, deciding to start with a 4-3-3 formation. In the midfield engine room he has opted for a recall for both Eunan O’Kane and Kalvin Phillips, pairing them alongside new arrival Adam Forshaw.
Stuart Dallas continues his stint as a makeshift defender, although some Leeds fans are postulating as to whether the team news points to a 3-5-2 formation with a packed midfield. A welcome sight is the return to the bench of Ghanaian Caleb Ekuban after recovery from his foot injury.
Leeds United fans comment and react to team vs Sheffield United
Nice to see Dallas starting
— Jane Beer (@BeerJane58) February 10, 2018
433 with Dallas at full back
— Calum (@GOATanoBeradi) February 10, 2018
Looks like a very ordinary team to me and Dallas ain’t no right back.
— Richard Walker (@richleedsuk) February 10, 2018
OMG What’s Viera doing on the bench, FFS! It’s a Sheffield derby, we need battlers and someone who can PASS a ball more than 3 yards without giving it away. Great 1st pick Paul, we’ve lost already 🙁
— Deano (@JDnCokeInnit) February 10, 2018
Pretty strong midfield that
— SMILEY BADGE 🍻🇬🇧 (@BadgeSmiley) February 10, 2018
Let’s hope Alioski starts performing today being poor this year
— Mark Kellett (@mjkellettdecor1) February 10, 2018
Dropping Hernandez (our most creative player) and leaving Roofe who needs carrying every game is a big call
— Jono Charters (@jonocharters) February 10, 2018
Good midfield as makes us more solid and gives Phillips chance to get forward more. Right back an issue with Dallas but overall a team that can challenge.
— peter-maurice (@petermauriceuk) February 10, 2018