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Cooper to return? Clarke to start? Leeds’ dugout decisions ahead of huge Derby clash

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The Sky Bet Championship action returns with a cracking game at Elland Road tomorrow evening as Leeds United host Derby County.

The reverse fixture was one of the first of the season as Leeds blew away Derby 4-1, but going into this one the Whites look less sure of themselves.

As has been the case a lot this season, United have a number of selection headaches to try and navigate for kick-off.

In a new feature named FLW In The Dugout, then, some of our writers are taking a closer look at the XI they feel Marcelo Bielsa should field tomorrow night.

Here are the line-ups three of us have come up with…

George Dagless

Marcelo Bielsa has some patching up to do but he can still put out a side that is capable of winning tomorrow night.

I can see Leif Davis playing at left-back with Barry Douglas’ continued issues whilst Tyler Roberts could well come in for Pablo Hernandez – a big game for him.

Jack Clarke, for me, starts this one. He’s been Leeds’ brightest spark in recent games and deserves the chance to get at Derby from the off.

I also think Liam Cooper could well be back in time going off of Bielsa’s comments.

Gary Hutchinson

The formation here is standard for Bielsa, but the players are not. There’s a big shout to be made in a number of positions, with Tyler Roberts the one likely to replace Hernandez.

Elsewhere Jack Clarke, Aapo Halme and Leif Davis all play, championing the talented Under 23 squad but maybe just lacking the experience needed for a Premier League push.

Klich could be a key man, he’s got a lot of creative burden on his shoulders in this youthful lineup.

Sam Rourke

I would go a bit against the grain here, and opt for a 4-2-3-1 formation for Leeds when they face Derby.

After three consecutive losses, the Whites cannot afford to pick up another so I feel Bielsa needs to opt for a somewhat more solid XI that sees Forshaw and Klich act as a defensive double act at the base of midfield.

With Hernandez out of action, it makes sense for Tyler Roberts to be given an opportunity to flourish just behind Roofe, whilst Jack Clarke deserves to start and with all of Leeds’ injuries, the match v Derby seems a great time to give him a chance on the flank.

Leif Davis will have to come in for this one at left-back due to Barry Douglas’ injury, and he’ll need to bring his A-Game as Derby come packed with a plethora of talented widemen.

Liam Cooper returns to the side, partnering Jansson, with Ayling occupying the right-back slot – BPF retains his spot in goal.

This more solid formation and team should hopefully counteract Derby’s fluid style of play, and help them secure a win under the lights at Elland Road.


Editor and writer usually found at a game in London.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Cooper to return? Clarke to start? Leeds’ dugout decisions ahead of huge Derby clash

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