MOT View: Leeds stalwart not seen in Champ since December must start v Forest
Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips is set to serve the final match of his suspension against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
Mateusz Klich has been operating in the holding midfield role for the last couple of games, but perhaps manager Marcelo Bielsa would be wise to go for a different option at the City Ground.
Captain Liam Cooper and star loanee Ben White have been manager Marcelo Bielsa’s preferred centre back partnership all season long. That much is clear.
However, the latter has filled in in midfield at times this campaign, and should do so again on Saturday.
We know that Forest possess a different sort of threat going forward. They are very fluid, and in the likes of Lewis Grabban and Joe Lolley they have players capable of hurting any team.
With that said, perhaps veteran centre half Gaetano Berardi should start alongside captain Cooper at the heart of the Whites’ defence.
BBC Sport reported on Friday that the Switzerland international Berardi is back in contention to face the Reds.
He’s been out with a calf injury recently, but could potentially be involved on Saturday as the Yorkshire giants look to get back to winning ways.
The Switzerland international hasn’t been seen in the Championship since logging four minutes against Birmingham City in late December.
However, he did play the full 90 minutes in the Whites’ narrow FA Cup defeat to Arsenal last month.
He’s a solid centre back who always does a good job. The added solidity of Berardi, Cooper and White in the same line-up could give Forest fits.
That would allow Bielsa’s team to control possession, with White a more than capable passer in midfield, while still being watertight at the back.
Meanwhile, the report also mentions that January signing Jean-Kevin Augustin could feature after getting some game time for the Under-23s this week.
Whether that proves correct remains to be seen, although Patrick Bamford feels like a nailed on starter up front.
In other Leeds United news, a former Premier League winger has told a humorous tale about the Whites manager.