Leeds midfielder to return to Christiansen’s starting XI following suspension?

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Neville Williams, Getty Images.

Thomas Christiansen is looking for a repeat of the performance which ended their dogged form against Middlesbrough when they entertain Aston Villa on Friday.  

Leeds beat former head coach Garry Monk and his Middlesbrough side 2-1 to end a run of three straight league defeats and just one win in their last seven matches.

A game which the Whites controlled throughout is expected to be replicated against Aston Villa if they are to walk away with three important points, believes Christiansen.

Should they defeat Steve Bruce’s Villa, Leeds could re-enter the play-off places if Derby fail to win on Saturday but more importantly, will record their first back-to-back wins since their clash against Birmingham in September.

Christiansen confirmed that Stuart Dallas and Pierre-Michel Lasogga would yet again miss the game due to their respective injuries and Eunan O’Kane looks fifty-fifty to make the squad after sustaining a hip injury in the latest win over Barnsley.

But Ronaldo Vieira looks set to be involved again after serving a one-match suspension picked up in the recent defeat against Wolves, and O’Kane’s recent setback could allow Vieira to make an instant return to the starting line-up.

Caleb Ekuban looks set to retain his place up front following a very unselfish and encouraging performance against the Tykes.

Despite a lack of appearances in the league due to a foot injury sustained earlier in the season, Ekuban made a big impression when he came on against Boro, but is yet to score a league goal since joining the Whites in the summer.

A former fan favourite in Robert Snodgrass will also be returning to West Yorkshire with the visitors on Friday after joining on loan from West Ham.

The last meeting ended in a 1-1 draw between the sides at Villa Park curtesy of a Pontus Jansson header, but the last affair at Elland Road was won by the Whites thanks to Kemar Roofe and Chris Wood.

Fans will be happy to know going into the game, that Leeds have taken the lead in three of their last five encounters against the Villans, but have kept just two clean sheets.

With Villa sat in fourth spot, and with nine wins in their last twelve matches, victory over Steve Bruce’s side will not be an easy task but if the Whites want to be back in the promotion mix, then beating tough sides like the Claret and Blues is key to getting them back on track.

 

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