Injuries, departures, suspensions and more injuries. Pablo Hernandez, Kalvin Phillips and Barry Douglas are all missing from the last league game and Lewis Baker has returned to Chelsea and gone straight to Reading. Marcelo Bielsa has very little to choose from.
Potential Leeds United XI
GK – Baily Peacock-Farrell – Leeds really need to move for a new goalkeeper to challenge the youngster but he responded in his last game at Queens Park Rangers and needs a similar performance on Friday night against Derby.
RB – Jamie Shackleton – There are a variety of different options you could play at the back but none are ideal at all. Shackleton deserves the chance to play in a game like this, he’s proved he can be very good at this level.
CB – Pontus Jansson – A big gam required. Jack Marriott will probably lead the Derby line but Martyn Waghorn is also an option. Both very different players and will both cause problems for the Leeds back-line.
CB – Liam Cooper – Everything is pointing to Liam Cooper starting the game on Friday and hopefully that’s the case. Will add experience and a better idea of how to defend set-pieces, something we haven’t done well in the last few weeks.
LB – Luke Ayling – We simply can’t risk throwing Leif Davis back in after Sunday. Tom Pearce is the other option, even Gjanni Alioksi but Ayling is more than capable of doing a job at left-back for a game or two, experience and character in abundance.
DM – Adam Forshaw – A huge game for the midfield on Friday. Forshaw hasn’t had a good game for a few weeks and has been a disappointment in the recent defeats, playing particularly bad when the young players needed his guidance. If he performs to his best he could control this game.
CM – Mateusz Klich – Needed his rest and got it on Sunday. That could well be the catalyst for him to burst back onto the scene and if he rediscovers his early season form we are rolling again, he can be that good.
RW – Gjanni Alioski – In his best form since the start of the season and ironically that’s come at our worst form of the season as a team. Much better down the right, a key area tomorrow with Derby looking to get their full-backs forward.
LW – Jack Clarke – A tough situation tomorrow because Harrison hasn’t really done enough to be starting but probably will. For me it would be best to get at Derby early on and the best player at the club when it comes to running at defences is without doubt Jack Clarke.
CAM – Tyler Roberts – Bielsa says he’ll play Roberts in the number ten role if Pablo Hernandez isn’t fit which looks likely. I think Roberts has a lot to offer, if he really believes in himself he could be a key player in the second half of the season.
ST – Kemar Roofe – Ruined the Derby defence at Pride Park and he won’t have forgotten that, neither will the Derby defence. We need to get him into the box and on the end of things.