Leeds United face a mammoth Premier League clash on Saturday in the first of three games Sam Allardyce has been given to save the club from relegation – and here are two changes he could make to the side that lost at City.
Of course, a trip to The Etihad was Allardyce’s first game against the Premier League champions. But Allardyce did say afterwards that the game against City was a free hit. The job of saving Leeds was a three-game mission.
The first of those three games is Newcastle at Elland Road on Saturday, with West Ham away and then Tottenham at home next up. Realistically, Leeds need at least four points from the next three games to stand any kind of chance.
There is a belief that Leeds can get the job done. But whether we do or not, is a completely different question. Toon boss Eddie Howe said that the first 15 or 20 minutes will determine the full-time result – and he is completely right.
Allardyce will have some decisions to make. The belief that having brought Joel Robles in to the starting XI against City, the Spaniard will remain in the side over Illan Meslier. Luke Ayling is likely to start on the right side of defence.
Predicted Leeds XI to face Newcastle: Two changes, Bamford or Rodrigo?
Rasmus Kristensen was solid at City, but with Robin Koch fit again after missing training last week, you would expect the German replace the £10m Dane. Max Wober partnering him; Liam Cooper is ruled out until West Ham.
Adam Forshaw will continue in front of Marc Roca and Weston McKennie despite plenty of chat about Archie Gray and Sam Greenwood this week. Willy Gnonto and Jack Harrison out wide. But what happens up front?
Bamford is Allardyce’s main main, having said so in his press conferences. But Rodrigo came on to score and with 14 goals this term, he is our top scorer. Surely, Allardyce has got to bring in Rodrigo against this Newcastle side.