Leeds United are looking to return to winning ways this evening as they play host to Swansea City in the Championship at Elland Road.
The Whites went into the gameweek seven points behind Ipswich Town in second place and will be hoping to gain ground on them if the Tractor Boys fail to pick up all three points against Millwall.
Daniel Farke’s side head into this clash with the Swans off the back of a frustrating 1-1 draw away at relegation-threatened Rotherham United last Friday.
Crysencio Summerville opened the scoring with a fine finish for the Whites in the all-Yorkshire clash but a strike before half time from Hakeem Odofin secured a point for the hosts.
The German tactician could make some changes to his side after that draw and one that he could make is to finally unleash Ian Poveda, whose last start came against Birmingham in August, ahead of Daniel James on the right flank.
Dan James’ performance against Rotherham in numbers
The Wales international has enjoyed a solid season so far, with four goals and four assists, but he produced a sloppy display against the Millers.
James struggled in possession as he only found a teammate with 59% of his attempted passes (16/27) and failed with all four of his attempted dribbles, to go along with zero goals and zero assists, in 70 minutes on the field.
James in 23/24 Championship (via Sofascore)
Big chances created
The former Swansea forward also lost all seven of his duels, including his three aerial battles, and did not make a single tackle, interception, block, or clearance to help the team out from a defensive perspective.
It was a disappointing performance from James on and off the ball and, with three games in a week, this clash with the Swans is an opportunity for Farke to rest him and unleash Poveda in his place.
Why Poveda could start against Swansea
The former Manchester City starlet caught the eye in his cameo off the bench against Rotherham and Farke revealed that he trusted the gem due to his “good” performance levels in training.
Leeds’ head coach claimed that Poveda has the ability to provide a “touch of magic” with his “crazy” movements to make something happen on the ball.
The former Norwich boss said that he was pleased with the young talent’s display as the winger completed 100% (8/8) of his attempted passes and completed one dribble in 20 minutes.
The 23-year-old whiz has, however, yet to translate his youth team form with Manchester City to senior level and is still waiting for his breakthrough moment.
Poveda racked up 15 goals and 13 assists in 69 appearances for the Cityzens at U23 and U18 level combined but has zero goals and one assist in 27 first-team matches for Leeds.
This suggests that the 5 foot 6 winger, who predominantly plays on the right and cuts inside onto his favoured left foot, has more to offer than he has shown so far.
Whilst there is no guarantee that the English maestro can carry his academy form over to the senior game, Farke could unearth a productive and exciting forward if he can get Poveda to hit his stride in the first-team – starting with an inclusion in the XI tonight.