Steve Evans explains reason why Luke Murphy starts ahead of Toumani Diagouraga tonight

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Steve Evans has chosen Luke Murphy ahead of Toumani Diagouraga as Leeds take on Cardiff City this evening.

Leeds United boss Steve Evans has told LUTV that Luke Murphy starts against Cardiff City tonight because he has impressed in training, whilst Toumani Diagouraga needed a rest.

The Whites head to South Wales this evening having beaten Bolton Wanderers 2-1 over the weekend, but face a tricky test against a Cardiff City side in great form and pushing for a play-off place.

The Leeds side is missing defender Liam Cooper and striker Chris Wood through injury, but right back Gaetano Berardi is back in the side after an extended period on the sidelines

One of the biggest pieces of team news is that midfielder Luke Murphy starts tonight, whilst January signing Toumani Diagouraga has been dropped to the bench.

Murphy has played just six minutes of action since being taken off after an hour against Brentford back in January, and his run out of the team has coincided with Diagouraga's arrival from Brentford during the winter transfer window.

Tonight though, the 26-year-old has been given a chance to shine, and will play in midfield alongside Liam Bridcutt, Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt against Cardiff.

Speaking to LUTV ahead of kick off, manager Evans revealed that Murphy has been impressive in training and earned the chance to impress, and it worked out well for Leeds given that he not only wanted to give Diagouraga a rest, but wanted to protect him from a ban due to his accumulation of bookings.

"Luke comes in to replace Toumani Diagouraga, and there are different reasons for that," said Evans. "One is that Luke has been very impressive in training, and proving a point that he wants to be in. Big Toums has played a lot of football since he's come here, and added to what he had at Brentford, he has now amassed eight bookings, and there are two games before the cut-off."

"If he'd got booked tonight, it would have put him on a knife edge for Saturday, so that was also a factor, but the overriding factor on that one was that Luke Murphy is jumping and jumping for a starting place, so we want Luke to go out and prove his point tonight, and be outstanding," he added.

What do you think about Leeds' line-up tonight?

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