By Daniel Feliciano

17th Jan, 2023 | 9:40am

Patrick Bamford to start, Luke Ayling axed - Leeds United predicted XI v Cardiff City

Jesse Marsch looks set to name a strong Leeds lineup for their FA Cup third-round replay against Cardiff on Wednesday in a must-win game.

The Whites have so far claimed just two wins in their last 17 games in all competitions, including the 2-2 draw against Championship side Cardiff last weekend after falling 2-0 behind.

With pressure once again building on Marsch after the 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa left the team just two points above the relegation zone, he will know that elimination from the cup could see him lose his job.

Spaniard Joel Robles started the first leg with Meslier suffering from a slight injury, but the French stopper returned to the Premier League lineup and is likely to get the nod once again here.

In defence Luke Ayling has seemingly wrestled his starting spot back from Ramus Kristensen at right-back in the Premier League, but the Dane got the start in the cup last time out and should get another opportunity to impress again.

Max Wober is yet to start since signing from Salzburg but this would seem like the perfect chance to do so, and he will come in at left-back where his long-term future at Elland Road is seen.

In the middle Pascal Struijk is likely to start again to make up for his poor performance in the first fixture between the sides, while Diego Llorente should get another opportunity too.

In midfield Marc Roca is fit again and should start, while youngster Darko Gyabi was impressive and can come back into the side with Marsch knowing he won’t let him down.

In attack Marsch went for a more youthful attack the first time around and needed his top scorer to come off the bench and save the result with a goal and a hugely impressive performance.

Wilfried Gnonto was excellent despite defeat against Aston Villa and should keep his spot on the left wing, while Jack Harrison and Brenden Aaronson will also get the nod behind the striker with Luis Sinisterra and Crysencio Summerville still unavailable.

Rodrigo is so important to this team that Marsch is unlikely to risk him, and with Patrick Bamford netting his first goal in over a year against Villa he should be ready for his first start in several months to get more minutes into his legs.

Leeds predicted XI v Cardiff: Meslier; Kristensen, Llorente, Struijk, Wober; Gyabi, Roca; Aaronson, Harrison, Gnonto; Bamford

In other Leeds news, the reason why one Leeds starlet hasn’t left on loan this month has been shared by a reliable journalist