LEIGH BROMBY is favourite to step into the defensive breach for Leeds United in the absence of the suspended Patrick Kisnorbo this evening.
The big Aussie centre-half, who started for the Whites in their famous FA Cup victory at Old Trafford in January 2010, sits out the game after copping a one-match ban following his dismissal against Bristol City on Saturday.
Whites fan Bromby ironically missed out on that memorable afternoon across the Pennines after serving a one-match suspension after picking up a fifth booking of the season against Stockport County towards the end of 2009.
Grayson made several changes ahead of Leeds’ last Carling Cup assignment at Doncaster Rovers on August 23, due to a testing schedule of three games in six days – with United facing an identical scenario this week with an important league game at Brighton in the offing on Friday.
And he admits he faces some tough selection decisions ahead of the game, mindful that every United player will be chomping at the bit to figure in tonight’s marquee fixture.
He said: “I treat the competition very seriously because I want to win every football match. In the last couple of rounds, we’ve made probably three or four changes; I’ve never been one for making eight, nine or 10 changes because I don’t want to do that. But sometimes, your hand is forced to make changes.
“The problem we’ve got is that we play on Friday night. If we were playing Saturday, then I’d put my strongest team out to try and get a result.”
Meanwhile, Michael Owen is set to make his first appearance of the season for Manchester United at Elland Road this evening.
Other famous names expected to start include Ryan Giggs, Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher and Park Ji-Sung.
French midfielder Paul Pogba and young striker Will Keane are others tipped to feature, with the likes of Federico Macheda and Mame Biram Diouf also in the equation.