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Early Leeds United team news v Watford: Sam Byram set to start

Leeds United will travel to Vicarage Road to face Watford in the Championship on Friday (29 March). 

The Whites are top of the table sharing the same point with Leicester having played a game more, whereas Watford are 13th in the league.

Daniel Farke’s side will be without left-back Junior Firpo due to the scheduling of the Caribbean nation’s international fixtures.

The Dominican Republic international has been in superb form this season and he has played a key role for the Whites in 2024 as they maintained an enviable defensive record thus far. Missing him will be a big blow for the club, but Farke will hope that the squad can cope without him.

Firpo is expected to land in the UK on Thursday and after a lengthy travel, he won’t be able to train and make the squad. Depending on the duration of the layover, Firpo’s layover can take somewhere between 15 and 20 hours.

Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Joe Donnohue has suggested that Sam Byram is likely to replace Firpo in the starting line-up.

Donnohue wrote: “In Firpo’s place Sam Byram will most likely start at left-back having only been named in Farke’s XI three times since the turn of the year. Firpo on the other hand has 14 starts in the first three months of 2024 and five assists to his name.”

Sam Byram should fit in nicely for Leeds United

Byram has started in 19 games for the Whites this season and he has also made eight appearances from the bench.

The left-back is one area that has been a problematic area for the Whites for a long time, and Farke will need to address that in the summer. For the time being, Byram will slot in comfortably.

The Englishman was regular in that position in the first half of the season, and it is a big challenge for him to prove a point to his manager as well.

Farke could use young Archie Gray as well. He is versatile enough to play in that position but that is hardly needed. The 30-year-old is more than capable of doing the job perfectly.

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