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Predicted Leeds XI, team and injury news vs Cardiff in FA Cup

Jesse Marsch is expected to name a “strong team” as Leeds United get their FA Cup campaign underway with a third-round clash at Cardiff City this afternoon.

The American did hint, however, that several first-team stars were dealing with knocks but didn’t go as far as naming who, so it will be interesting to see what starting XI will look to end the Whites’ nightmare record in the competition.

It’s been six years since the club advanced to the fourth round, in which the Yorkshire giants have tasted defeat to lower league opposition on several occasions, such as against Crawley Town and Newport County.

Here’s the lineup that could be looking to end that today…

What is your prediction for Leeds vs Cardiff?

Whites win!

Whites win!

Draw...

Draw...

Bluebird win!

Bluebird win!

Only three players from the 2-2 draw with West Ham United in midweek could retain their place in Marsch’s 4-2-3-1 system as Robin Koch, Crysencio Summerville and Marc Roca remain.

It means there could be as many as eight changes, starting in goal with backup Joel Robles getting the nod over usual no.1 Illan Meslier, who could be afforded some rest ahead of a busy fixture list.

Max Wober is in line to make his debut at left-back following his arrival from RB Salzburg last week, replacing his current makeshift incumbent Pascal Struijk, whilst Diego Llorente is drafted in to partner Koch.

Alongside the skipper Liam Cooper, fellow Elland Road veteran Luke Ayling is also set to make way, with fellow former RB Salzburg ace Rasmus Kristensen starting on the right.

In the engine room, there could be a rare start for 18-year-old “wonderful talent” Darko Gyabi, as described by youth coach Harry Brooks, whilst Jack Harrison returns to the starting lineup after being dropped in midweek.

There may also be starts for promising academy duo Sam Greenwood and Joe Gelhardt, with the latter taking up the sole striker position to hand current top goalscorer Rodrigo a much-needed break.

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Predicted Leeds XI (4-2-3-1): Robles; Wober, Koch, Llorente, Kristensen; Gyabi, Roca; Harrison, Greenwood, Summerville; Gelhardt

AND in other news, Imagine him & Gnonto: Orta could form “extraordinary” Leeds duo by signing £20m “machine”…