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2 Leeds United players Javi Gracia simply has to axe v Crystal Palace and why

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Leeds United take on Crystal Palace this weekend looking to make it back-to-back wins and push themselves further away from the relegation zone.

Javi Gracia’s side have been buoyed by their fine result in midweek to see off relegation rivals Nottingham Forest, moving two clear of the relegation zone having started the night in 18th.

Up next, they take on Crystal Palace, who have also changed their manager recently to bring back Roy Hodgson, with the Eagles sat just a point and a place above Leeds in 12th.

The performance of Leeds’ against Forest on Tuesday was a mammoth effort as they dominated the match, but couldn’t quite create daylight, and they will need similar to get the better of Palace.

Here, we look at two players we think Gracia has to drop today against Palace…

Luke Ayling to sit out?

Ayling earned a new contract earlier in the year for some fine commanding displays, but his form has dipped somewhat recently.

These things happen even for the most important of players, and we have the depth now to take him out of the firing line, with Rasmus Kristensen looking more the part under Gracia.

Palace are going to be without Wilfried Zaha, so instantly, the task looks less daunting for whoever starts at right-back for us, but Ayling didn’t cover himself in glory at all on Tuesday.

Kristensen has quietly gone about his business well since Gracia took charge, waiting patiently for his opportunity to impress.

He deserves to start this weekend ahead of Ayling.

Will Leeds stay up?





Rodrigo for Aaronson to give Bamford better support?

Patrick Bamford can often cut a very lonely figure in the Leeds attack and he does well to connect up with the midfield as a lone striker.

Brenden Aaronson ought to be doing more to support the number nine, and even with solid movement to get forward, we’re not seeing enough from him.

Rodrigo’s cameo against Forest showed exactly why playing Bamford and the Spaniard together needs to be experimented with more.

He was able to roam about the final third with freedom to link with both wide players and Bamford, connecting every part of our play very well, while also stretching the line with runs in behind.

We haven’t seen that partnership enough, and it’s something that would cause a lot of problems for the Palace defence.

Quiz: Leeds United’s last 15 results v Crystal Palace – Can you score 100%?

1 of 15

October 2022, Selhurst Park?

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Leeds United season ticket holder since 2013/14, currently situated in the middle of the FA5 noise. From Pablo Hernandez to 5-1 drubbings, I've seen it all at Elland Road.