Leeds predicted lineup v Reading: Monk hints Bridcutt could return

Leeds United manager Garry Monk

Leeds go into Tuesday's clash looking to bounce back following a defeat in their previous game.

To be played on Tuesday 13th December 2016 at 19:45. Venue: Elland Road, Leeds

Odds: Leeds 21/20, Draw 12/5, Reading 12/5

Leeds United go into their clash on Tuesday night hoping to bounce back from their disappointing defeat to Brighton last week, but face an extremely difficult task trying to get their play-off push back on track.

Reading are currently third in the Championship and will remain in that position regardless of how they get on at Elland Road.

Leeds United manager Garry Monk before the matchLeeds United manager Garry Monk

With Kalvin Phillips being sent off against the Seagulls and thus facing a one-match ban, Monk's biggest call is arguably who takes a place in holding midfield, presumably alongside Ronaldo Vieira.

Eunan O'Kane and Liam Bridcutt have both been sidelined with injury lately. And while the Yorkshire Evening Post confirms that the former will miss the game against the Royals, Monk has hinted that the club captain could make a surprise return.

"He's fit but whether he's ready to play a game or not we'll decide after training. There's always a chance," he said, as reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post.

"He's come back in good condition and it's just about whether he's in the right condition to start a game. You've got a responsibility to make sure you don't force players back and then lose them going forward for [the sake of] one game. But Liam's come back in really good condition, probably ahead of where we thought."

Liam Bridcutt Leeds United in action with Jack Payne of Huddersfield TownLiam Bridcutt Leeds United in action with Jack Payne of Huddersfield Town

Monk would have surely preferred to have used Bridcutt sparingly given that he has not played since September, but with a lack of other options - he appears to have little motivation to use either Luke Murphy or Toumani Diagouraga while Matt Grimes has struggled since joining the summer - he may decide that it is a risk worth taking.

Should Bridcutt return, it perhaps makes it slightly less likely to see Stuart Dallas come back into the starting line-up.

Like Bridcutt, Dallas has spent a significant portion of the season out with injury and has not started a league fixtures since October, though he has featured in a handful of games as a substitute and made the starting line-up against Liverpool in the EFL Cup.

But with Souleymane Doukara impressing recently, Monk may decide to avoid picking another player in midfield who has only just come back from injury. 

Leeds predicted lineup

  • Robert Green
  • Luke Ayling
  • Kyle Bartley
  • Charlie Taylor
  • Pontus Jansson
  • Liam Bridcutt
  • Kemar Roofe
  • Ronaldo Vieira
  • Souleymane Doukara
  • Hadi Sacko
  • Chris Wood

Reading predicted lineup

  • Ali Al Habsi
  • Tyler Blackett
  • Chris Gunter
  • Paul McShane
  • Liam Moore
  • Jordan Obita
  • Roy Beerens
  • George Evans
  • Garath McCleary
  • Joey van den Berg
  • Dominic Samuel

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch