Clutching Nottingham Forest’s jugular is a neat summary of where I’d want Leeds United to go on Tuesday night. If you accept, on 26 points, the Whites need another three or four wins to feel confident of safety, Steve Cooper’s side at Elland Road has to be a banker.
The City Ground outfit are the worst team on the road in the division with four goals and six points taken from their 13 trips this term. Crystal Palace and Leicester City’s visits to LS11 stand out as the other big opportunities for Leeds to move to safety, while the trips to Bournemouth and West Ham United are the back-ups you hope they don’t need to bank on.
All that being considered, I’m rolling with Rodrigo and Patrick Bamford in attack. Even if I only get an hour from the top scorer, he has proven to be the only reliable finisher in the box this season and Leeds need that presence.
Bamford can be a focal point in attack for others to play off and I would hope their intelligence makes the partnership work. There’s also a dearth of natural central attacking midfielders I would trust to play off either of them as the nine in a 4-2-3-1.
Brenden Aaronson seems the most natural fit, but he’s been frustrating to watch for a long time in this side. Luis Sinisterra looked miles off it on Saturday, while Georginio Rutter still feels like too much of an unknown quantity for a clash like this.
Crysencio Summerville has to start as Saturday’s best performer, while Jack Harrison, for all of his frustrating moments, is showing threatening flashes of late. It’s a 4-2-2-2 nod to the shape Javi Gracia used to use at Watford.
Weston McKennie, rested on Saturday, provides some drive from deep alongside Marc Roca. Meanwhile, Pascal Struijk did nothing at the weekend to suggest he needs to be removed for Liam Cooper.
Luke Ayling gets taken out of the firing line in my side. The right-back’s had a rough time of it in the last three matches and while I don’t expect Rasmus Kristensen to be perfect, it feels like it’s his turn.
Beren’s XI: Meslier; Kristensen, Koch, Struijk, Firpo; McKennie, Roca; Summerville, Harrison; Bamford, Rodrigo.