Whites boss Daniel Farke made two changes to his side for Wednesday night’s hosting of Swansea City in which a 3-1 victory made it six Elland Road wins on the spin. Pascal Struijk made a full return from his double hernia injury to captain the side in place of Liam Cooper who dropped to the bench along with Junior Firpo as Sam Byram also made a full return from injury to start at left back.
Another Whites star returned from a longer injury to the bench as Tottenham loanee Djed Spence appeared for the first time since injuring his knee in training in the middle of September. Spence was an unused substitute but Farke revealed post match that he had been impressing in training and that there was now a good chance of game time over the upcoming weeks for Spence given the right concentration and focus.
Farke held his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon, at which he revealed that both Joe Gelhardt (hip) and Junior Firpo (hamstring) had suffered injury setbacks. The pair join Stuart Dallas on the sidelines, Dallas still on the comeback trail from a femoral fracture and currently training individually.
Gelhardt, Firpo and Dallas are the only three players out but Spence is now very much available following his injury return and this is the Leeds XI that we think will line up against Michael Carrick’s Riversiders.
1. GK: Illan Meslier
Clear first choice 'keeper and one of only two Whites players to have played every minute of every league game so far this term. Photo: George Tewkesbury
2. RB: Archie Gray
Djed Spence is bound to be knocking on the door very soon but Gray will take some shifting with his performances from right back despite being a natural midfielder. Another start on the the right side of the defence looks imminent for the gifted 17-year-old star although it would be no surprise to see Spence return from injury at some stage from the bench and Farke always has the option to move Gray into midfield if he doesn't want to bench him. Photo: George Wood
3. CB: Joe Rodon
A rock at the back since joining the club on a season-long loan from Tottenham. Photo: George Wood
4. CB: Pascal Struijk
Struijk made a full return from his double hernia issue to replace Liam Cooper both at centre-back and with the captain's armband against Swansea and atoned for an early error in leading the Whites to a 3-1 success. Struijk was eventually substituted for Cooper with one minute left and Farke revealed at Friday's presser that the changed was enforced due to cramp but that's understandable after a recent lay off and everything would seemingly point to Struijk and Rodon at the heart of the defence. Photo: George Wood
5. LB: Sam Byram
Farke now has one less option at left back given Firpo's new injury but Byram has become very much first choice in the position following his excellent displays since re-joining the club on a free transfer this summer. Farke labelled Byram as one of the best free transfer's in the club's history in Wednesday's post-match presser and it's hard to argue with that call. A gem of a signing. Photo: George Wood
6. CM: Ethan Ampadu
The team's other Championship ever-present along with Meslier and a no-brainer to start in centre midfield. Another excellent signing for a snip of a fee at £7m. Photo: George Wood