By Mark Smith

28th Feb, 2023 | 9:10am

Phil Hay drops Leeds United team news v Fulham with Javi Gracia changes likely

Phil Hay is expecting a different Leeds United starting XI in the FA Cup clash against Fulham this evening on Tuesday 28 February.

The Whites travel to Craven Cottage with Javi Gracia likely to take the same squad that he had available for the 1-0 win against Southampton last time out.

Hay looked back to Gracia’s run to the FA Cup final with Watford back in 2019, with the Spaniard making plenty of changes throughout the competition.

Writing in his pre-match Q&A for The Athletic, Hay shared what he expects from the team news later on this evening at Craven Cottage.

“First things first,” he wrote. “There’s no replay in round five so this tie will be settled on the night. Naturally, Leeds are away from home – aren’t they always in the FA Cup? – and Fulham are having a very good league season but Javi Gracia got a win from his first game on Saturday and that won’t have done confidence any harm.

“Sam Greenwood is suspended but otherwise, the squad is likely to be very similar to Saturday’s. The starting line-up could be different, though, because Gracia made lots of changes during Watford’s run to the final in 2019.

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“You could tell from his comments yesterday that he’d like to have another crack at the cup. He hasn’t forgotten what the run with Watford was like.”


Gracia only had one training session before that win over Southampton, and likely one more since before the trip to Fulham, so he is still learning about his squad.

The Spaniard could make sweeping changes this evening at Craven Cottage to get a better look at his squad, with the likes of Georginio Rutter impressing off the bench.

With a big game against Chelsea coming up at the weekend, there will be natural rotation anyway and it could be a very exciting, attacking lineup that we see.

Wilfried Gnonto could get a rest given his heavy schedule in recent months, and the same could apply to Patrick Bamford, although he will be desperate for a goal.

Gracia is still learning about the squad and having the games come thick and fast will only help that as we look to build momentum and start picking up wins, regardless of the competition.

In other Leeds United news, one of Gracia’s key decisions in his first game shocked a Sky Sports pundit, but it worked.

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