The Whites’ record in the competition over recent times is pretty dire, having been knocked out at this very stage in each of the last five seasons, including shock upsets against lower league Crawley Town and Newport County.
Jesse Marsch will be looking to avoid another embarrassing feat against Cardiff City but his side have struggled in the league so far this season as they occupy 14th spot – just two points above the drop zone – following a 2-2 draw with potential relegation rivals West Ham United in midweek.
New signing Maximilian Wober could be in line to make his debut after his £11m move from RB Salzburg last week and as The Athletic’s Phil Hay mentioned in a recent podcast episode, it would “make sense” to unleash him today, “without a doubt.”
Whilst the Austrian can play in central defence, he has likely been brought in as Leeds’ new left-back – a position that has caused the American head coach all sorts of problems since he took the helm following the departure of Marcelo Bielsa.
It’s a rather telling sign that towering 6 foot 3 colossus Pascal Struijk has been preferred there over former FC Barcelona dud Junior Firpo, who was once lambasted as a “liability” to this team by Mirror journalist David Anderson.
The Dutchman is a centre-back by trade, though, and Wober has played 16 of 19 matches there for the Austrian Bundesliga champions this term.
In his 14 league starts prior to his switch to Elland Road, the former Ajax gem provided two assists and created five big chances, whilst also averaging 2.1 clearances, 1.7 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per game in five clean sheets for Salzburg, via Sofascore.
Wober, once lauded as a “real leader” and a “really good defender” by sporting director Christoph Freund, could therefore be exactly the solution to Marsch’s left-back woes, so it would certainly make sense to give him some game time this afternoon.
Marsch must look to start Wober at the Cardiff City Stadium today.