The FA Cup is here and with it a chance to make a run that compliments the brilliant season Leeds United is having so far.
Some fans might find themselves torn about what the FA Cup might do to this Leeds side. Will this be a competition Garry Monk will want to pursue success in? Or will there be a secret thought of “Please knock us out, and we will take a rested run at promotion” instead? The real dreamers will be thinking... why not just take both the FA Cup trophy and the Championship?
But reality sometimes has a bitter taste. And in this case it seems like a majority of supporters agree that this is not the season to draw away scarce resources.
So let's run a quick poll. What do you think of #LUFC and this year's #FACup?— Thru It All Together (@ThruItAllLUFC) December 5, 2016
With the starting XI looking strong in Championship competition, Monk will likely make quite a few changes to give some other potential first-team players a chance to impress.
So who will seize the moment? I’ve got some ideas.
1. Marcus Antonsson
The forward from Sweden has not seen a lot of playing time in the Championship since winning our August Player of the Month awards, despite the impressive attacking record (ten goals and one assist) he had at his previous club, Kalmar FF.
Antonsson will know that to have any chance to de-throne the man of the hour in attack, Chris Wood, he will have to show his attacking quality in a game against lesser opposition.
Monk knows Antonsson is more than capable of scoring from distance or getting in the box and finishing a chance that comes his way. If his teammates can support him with quality passes, look for Antonsson to get on the score sheet against Cambridge.
Marcus Antonsson GOAL v Norwich City #LUFC pic.twitter.com/X4RjRjHB6W https://t.co/DtZJKLa3tG— TFS Leeds United (@TFS_LeedsUtd) October 25, 2016
2. Alex Mowatt
Mowatt is another player in this Leeds side that has not had many chances to make an impression on game day in the Championship for Garry monk. Maybe that’s because of moments like this...
Alex Mowatt miss v Norwich City #LUFC pic.twitter.com/IqZc6nCJbW— #WALMOT (@WALMOT33) October 25, 2016
Mowatt will likely be tasked with unlocking the Cambridge defense in the final third tonight. Monk will need him to provide some key passes to players like Antonsson in hopes that they can get on the score sheet early. That is something that will be critical if Leeds want to avoid any tense moments as the game progresses, and if he still has any of the promise he had in 2014/15, this would be a great time to show it.
3. Matt Grimes
Grimes simply has not delivered as promised since arriving on loan from Swansea. In this sort of match, Grimes must prove to Monk that he is worth keeping around through the second part of the season.
The Swansea loanee will likely have to be the general in the midfield as he looks to create chances for the Leeds attack. His defensive contribution leaves little to be desired, but that does not mean he should not try to put in a strong shift helping out whenever he can. Capable of delivering an accurate set piece pass, Grimes should have plenty of chances to influence this match.
Hope Akpan's goal vs Boro yesterday. What a pass by Matt Grimes! pic.twitter.com/aJwNx35Tvf— RoversTweet (@RoversTweet) March 2, 2016
It will be interesting to see how Monk and his staff approach this match. No manager likes to lose, but with this being a magical Championship season with the potential for promotion, it is unlikely that he will risk too many (if any) of the starting XI to win this match if it isn’t in the bag late on.
What should Monk do against Cambridge? Think we picked the likely MOTM for the fourth match in a row? Do Leeds go for the win or let destiny unfold as it will? Let us know on Twitter and in the comments below. MOT.