Leeds United face first of three testing away trips

After the promise of their opening game in front of a big crowd at Elland Road, Leeds United now face a testing week in which they face three away games in seven days.

By Tony Harber
Wednesday, 12th August 2015, 3:00 pm
Leeds United goalscorer Mirco Antennucci shoots against Burnley. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Leeds United goalscorer Mirco Antennucci shoots against Burnley. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Head coach Uwe Rosler believes he has got his side fit and raring to go for the season ahead and this will certainly be put to the test as the Whites travel to play Doncaster Rovers in the first round of the Capital One Cup tomorrow night then go back to the Sky Bet Championship to face Reading on Sunday and Bristol City on Wednesday week.

With home and away games against Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County and a possible second round Capital One cup tie to come before the end of August Rosler is set to find out quickly whether his players are up to the task this season.

It is the Yorkshire derby at the Keepmoat Stadium up first with Leeds defending a fine record at the ground and looking to launch a cup run that can add some excitement to the campaign.

After their defeat to lower league Bradford City in the competition last year the Whites will not want to add to the seven Championship sides who all exited the cup last night.

It will be interesting to see if Rosler makes the kind of wholesale changes that some clubs make at this stage of the competition and he must be tempted to do so with two league games following on so closely.

But the head coach is also looking to establish a team pattern that will stand United in good stead for the rest of the season and wants the players to get used to playing alongside each other in his preferred 4-3-3 formation so may want to keep experimentation for another day.

He has hinted there will be some changes, however, with Mirco Antenucci pushing hardest for a starting place after his bright contribution off the bench against Burnley and defender Liam Cooper looking for game time.

Goalkeeper Ross Turnbull could also make his Leeds debut on his former home ground while striker Lee Ervin is another who could make his first competitive appearance for Leeds since his move from Motherwell.

Recent signing Stuart Dallas may be rested on the wing with Rosler admitting he was short o f fitness before his debut last Saturday and Souleymane Doukara, who played on the left in pre-season, may be given a chance to stake his claim to a regula r starting slot.

Rosler has explained how he is likely to rotate his squad in the opening month.

He said: “The way I like to play is high, intense, quick, transition football and for that you need a certain freshness and that means a natural part of my policy is rotating in a sensible way.

“So I think the team that started against Burnley on Saturday will most likely not be the same team that starts against Doncaster.”

A different test awaits the Whites when they go to Reading on Sunday with their hosts desperate to get their season going after losing their opening game 2-1 at Birmingham.