Luke Ayling will have to be wary of Josh Murphy’s threat this weekend, according to former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan.
Leeds return to Championship action with a trip to South Wales on Sunday afternoon, as Marcelo Bielsa’s side prepare to take on Cardiff City after over three months out of action.
The Whites sit top of the Championship table ahead of the final nine games of the season, and they will be hoping to restart their season strongly against the play-off chasing Bluebirds.
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Neil Harris’ side still have aspirations of closing a two-point gap and breaking into the top-six between now and the end of the season, and it would be a real statement if they were to beat Leeds this weekend.
One player who has been integral in City’s bid for a top-six finish is Josh Murphy; a player who Leeds and Ayling will need to watch out for this weekend, according to Whelan.
The winger is clearly a threat, and speaking to Football Insider, Whelan has insisted that Leeds need to watch out for his pace and “brilliant skills” on Sunday.
He said: “Murphy is a great player – an absolutely fantastic player. It will be a great matchup (with Leeds right-back Luke Ayling). Murphy was fantastic at Norwich. Great player with a great turn of pace and brilliant skills.
“There will be fantastic matchups all over the pitch. We will have to keep an eye out for Laing as well, powerful player with great pace.
“With players like that coming off the wing you need to be wary. If we’re not fully at it they could cause us a lot of problems.
“Cardiff have a lot to play for so this is not cut and dry. This is a really important stage for everyone.”
It will be a tough first game back for Leeds as they have struggled against Cardiff in recent fixtures, and it’s a tough place to go regardless of there being any fans at the ground or not.
Murphy is a top player who has been excellent for Cardiff this season, and despite having a relatively quiet game against Leeds in the 3-3 draw at Elland Road, he has made a real impact in other matches.
His pace and power down the flanks will be troubling for Leeds and Luke Ayling, and it’s something they will have to look out for on the counter.