Leeds United: Defender Jansson set for United return

Pontus Jansson
Pontus Jansson
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Leeds United are set to be boosted by the return of Pontus Jansson tomorrow night after the defender recovered from the illness which forced him to miss Saturday’s defeat to Cardiff City.

Jansson is expected to be passed fit and regain his starting place against Bristol City on Tuesday evening despite initial fears that a throat infection would see him sit out another key home game.

The Sweden international was absent from a 2-0 loss to Cardiff after calling in sick on the morning of the game but head coach Garry Monk is likely to recall him tonight as Leeds attempt to recover from back-to-back losses.

Those results have weakened the club’s hold on a Championship play-off position but the fixture at Elland Road is an opportunity to strengthen their position against a Bristol City side who last won a league game away from home in September.

Jansson reported for training at Thorp Arch this evening and Monk said: “He’s recovering well and we’re hopeful he’ll be back in the squad. He’d only be back in training if we felt he was ready to train and to play.

“He was ill on the morning (of Saturday’s game) so we had to make changes and adapt but that’s what happens. That’s football.”

Jansson has made 24 starts this season, enough to activate an option allowing Leeds to sign the loanee on a permanent basis from Torino at the end of the campaign, and he contributed to an

impressive run of six wins and six clean sheets at home prior to Saturday’s defeat to Cardiff.

Liam Cooper stepped in for him in the centre of defence but United were picked off by soft goals from Sean Morrison and Kenneth Zohore, cutting their advantage over Norwich City in seventh place to four points.

A red card shown to Liam Bridcutt in the final minutes of the game will see United’s captain serve a one-match ban against the Robins, leaving Monk to choose between Ronaldo Vieira, Eunan O’Kane and Kalvin Phillips for his midfield pair.

“We’ve done well there this season and it’s a very competitive area for us,” Monk said. “All of the players have different attributes. They all bring something different.

“Whether it’s Eunan, Kalvin or Ronny – whichever combination we choose, they know what they have to do and what they have to bring. They have to put their personality on the pitch which is what they’ve been doing pretty much throughout the season.”

Left-back Charlie Taylor, who has been absent for 11 successive games with an Achilles problem, is Monk’s only injury concern but the defender is expected to resume training after United’s trip to Ipswich Town this weekend.

“We’re expecting him to be back out on the pitches by the end of next week,” Monk said. “That’ll be a boost for him and for everyone.”