Leeds United: Whites take a strong squad for friendly at Wycombe

Charlie Taylor.
Charlie Taylor.
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LEEDS United will take their strongest available squad to Wycombe Wanderers tonight for the unusual event of a friendly during the international break.

United are in the middle of two weeks without a competitive game and have Chris Wood, Stuart Dallas and Lewis Cook away with New Zealand, Northern Ireland and England Under-19s respectively.

Young goalkeeper Charlie Horton is also on duty with the USA under-23s but every other first team player will travel to Wycombe, including winger Jordan Botaka, left-back Charlie Taylor and centre-back Liam Cooper.

Botaka had been selected to represent DR Congo in Burundi but opted instead to stay at Thorp Arch while Taylor will edge closer to his recovery from a virus by travelling with the squad, taking part in the warm-up, but not playing.

Cooper, who was substituted after a clash of heads with Scott Wootton during Saturday’s win at Huddersfield Town, will also travel but not play.

Evans said: “It’s the first team that’s travelling and there’s no youngsters in the travelling party. When I say there’s no youngsters, Alex Mowatt will be sitting next to me on the coach but Sol Bamba will lead the team out of the tunnel and we will have a strong side.

“We are not going down there to suddenly make nine changes. Of course we are missing the international players that would be selected and there’s an opportunity for two or three of them in the group that have been impressing me in training and impressing in 21s or closed door games. They will get some time on the pitch to show in a first team environment what they can do.”

The game could be particularly important for the likes of Lee Erwin and Casper Sloth to impress Evans who is optimistic of having star Taylor back before the end of November.

“Charlie’s travelling with us and he’ll be involved in the warm-up before the game,” Evans said. “He’ll play no part in the game, though, he’s not ready for that. Rotherham will probably come a little bit early for him, but we’re certainly saying by the end of the month Charlie Taylor should be back playing for Leeds United.”