Leeds' FA Cup bow may be the perfect opportunity to hand Bailey Peacock-Farrell his first-team debut

Steve Evans should look to give some of the players on the periphery of the squad a chance against Rotherham.

Leeds' FA Cup tie with Rotherham United is arguably the perfect opportunity for Steve Evans to hand promising goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell his first-team debut. 

The 19-year-old has been a regular member of the squad in recent months, but has been forced to watch from the sidelines as Marco Silvestri continues to perform at a very high standard.

And while Leeds' slim hopes of reaching the play-offs means that it may be too much of a risk to throw the youngster into the starting line-up in a league game, the FA Cup third round clash with their Championship rivals is a good chance for the prospect to show what he can do. 

Not only would a start against Neil Redfearn's side provide Peacock-Farrell with some important first-team experience, but if he puts in a good performance against the Millers, his confidence will be boosted which could prove very important if Silvestri sustains an injury in the near future. 

It could also benefit the Italian if Peacock-Farrell keeps a clean sheet against a side that left Elland Road with a victory the last time they visited. Currently, the 24-year-old is virtually unchallenged when it comes to a starting spot, and thus, he may be able to get away with being complacent, safe in the knowledge that he would probably have to endure a rotten run of form to be dropped.

A solid performance against Rotherham would allow the youngster to establish himself as a genuine rival, and give Steve Evans the confidence to know that if Silvestri does go through a bad patch, he is able to take the former Chievo man out of the spotlight. 

Evans has previously backed Peacock-Farrell to play in the Premier League one day (via Yorkshire Evening Post), and perhaps, Saturday's game with Rotherham is the right time to give him his chance to show everyone that his manager's expectations are not set too high.

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