This Saturday, Leeds United play in the FA Cup 4th round for the first time since they were dumped out by non-league Sutton 6 seasons ago.
On paper, Leeds are the favourites. However, given the whites’ FA cup history, it’s never that easy.
Jesse Marsch should be able to make changes and field a weakened team, giving his main players a rest ahead of a big game away to Nottingham Forest next weekend. Although don’t be surprised if he fields a relatively strong side to avoid the embarrassment of failing to beat a side currently embroiled in a 3rd tier relegation fight.
Here’s who I’d start against Accrington Stanley
GK – Joel Robles
It’s pretty obvious that Robles is our nailed-on cup goalkeeper, and he’s been a nice pair of hands when we’ve needed him, so it’s safe to give him a start.
RB – Rasmus Kristensen
With Luke Ayling putting in solid performances in recent Premier League games, the Dane may get the nod in a way to gain a bit of confidence and a route back into the side.
CB – Robin Koch
With Koch suspended for the game against Forest, it’d make sense to play him in this game and keep him sharp for the doubleheader against Manchester United.
CB – Diego Llorente
I wouldn’t risk Wober here in a game where a back pairing of Koch and Llorente should be able to suffice. Important to get Llorente some confidence as it’s likely he’ll be starting against Forest.
LB – Junior Firpo
Similar to Llorente, Firpo should be looking at Koch’s suspension as a way back into some Premier League football, so it’s a chance to impress ahead of next week.
CM – Tyler Adams
Expect Adams to play a similar role as he did in the replay against Cardiff. If the lead’s comfortable at the half, he’ll most likely be subbed off.
CM – Darko Gyabi
Gyabi impressed in Wales against Cardiff so I feel he should start again here against a side he should dominate.
CAM – Brenden Aaronson
Any way to get the American’s confidence back that we saw in the opening stages of the season is appreciated, and there’s no better way than playing a team 50 places below Leeds in the football pyramid.
CAM – Sam Greenwood
A few days after turning 21, expect Greenwood to start (hopefully in a more attacking role) this Saturday hoping to mark his birthday with a goal or two.
CAM – Luis Sinisterra
Leeds’ £20 million Raphinha replacement has struggled with injury but came off of the bench to make an impact against Brentford. Expect him to start on his road to full recovery.
ST – Georginio Rutter
Leeds’ record £35 million signing didn’t make it off the bench against Brentford last weekend but will definitely feature in the 4th round. Rutter and Bamford will most likely get a half each, so it is a toss-up, but I reckon the Frenchman gets the nod to start.