Horses for courses outlook for City
Nigel Worthington looks ready to use several formations this season in a horses for course outlook that will need adaptability from his players. He has kept his cards pretty much close to his chest all summer about exactly who will do what and where, but with players like Paul McVeigh, Carl Robinson and even Leon McKenzie proving in pre-season matches that they are masters of more than one role, it allows the City boss to change tactics and formations at the drop of a hat.
Nigel Worthington looks ready to use several formations this season in a horses for course outlook that will need adaptability from his players.
He has kept his cards pretty much close to his chest all summer about exactly who will do what and where, but with players like Paul McVeigh, Carl Robinson and even Leon McKenzie proving in pre-season matches that they are masters of more than one role, it allows the City boss to change tactics and formations at the drop of a hat.
The defence pretty much picks itself, with Paul Gallacher behind a back four of Jurgen Colin, on the right, Gary Doherty, Jason Shackell with skipper Adam Drury at left back.
Youssef Safri will pulls the strings in the middle, but assuming Worthington chooses to play 4-4-2, he should be alongside either Dickson Etuhu or Robinson, with McVeigh preferred to Lee Croft on the right and Darren Huckerby on the left, with Robert Earnshaw and McKenzie up front.
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That's the simple formation, but McVeigh can tuck in next to or just off Earnshaw, and Robinson could come in on the right of a three in the middle.
What we do know is Croft is not guaranteed a start because his training schedule is a fortnight off the Championship start time, and that Robert Green, Andy Hughes, Rossi Jarvis and Matthieu Louis-Jean are all out injured.
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Leeds could field former Ipswich Town player Ian Westlake this afternoon after the 23-year-old completed his move to Elland Road yesterday.
Westlake goes straight into Kevin Blackwell's squad - although there will be no fairytale appearance for goalkeeper Darren Ward, who left Norwich in the summer and was on trial with Leeds last week. Ward has signed a one-year deal, with a one-year option, at Sunderland, while Leeds have brought in Tony Warner on loan from Fulham for a month.
Westlake moved north on a three-year deal, with Dan Harding plus cash heading towards Portman Road. His signature followed those of Canaries target Geoff Horsfield, on loan from Sheffield United, and Warner.
Warner, 32, is in the squad for this afternoon, although it is expected that first choice keeper Neil Sullivan will be fit after suffering a dead leg at Nottingham Forest last weekend.
Definitely out is Kevin Nicholls, the midfielder signed from Luton, who suffered a knee injury on his first day's training and is likely to miss the first three months of the season.
Horsfield's likely inclusion will be a lively topic of interest for City fans, considering their team's need for a player of his ilk, while Westlake will receive two very different welcomes.
Leeds' back four includes the exciting Matthew Kilgallon, next to old head Paul Butler, with Westlake slotting into the left side of a three-man midfield, with Shaun Derry operating in the centre. Expect Horsfield to have Steve Stone to his right and Eddie Lewis to his left.