Caretaker boss Dean Whitehead - Credit Cardiff City

How will Cardiff City line-up at Leeds United for FA Cup replay?

Caretaker boss Dean Whitehead’s first game sees his side face Premier League opposition

CARDIFF City travel to Elland Road on Wednesday evening to face Premier League side Leeds United in an FA Cup third round replay.

The Bluebirds were held to a 2-2 draw at the Cardiff City Stadium when Sonny Perkins scored a 93rd minute equaliser for Leeds after the Bluebirds had raced into a 2-0 half-time lead.

It’s been all-change in the dugout at the Cardiff City Stadium since, with Mark Hudson sacked after a late draw with Wigan Athletic on Saturday, leaving the Bluebirds just one place above the Championship relegation zone.

Dean Whitehead has taken caretaker charge of the Bluebirds and his first job will be to try and steer the club into the next round of the cup, where a tie away to Boreham Wood or Accrington Stanley awaits.

In the first game Hudson played a largely reserve side but so many of those players handed chances to impress did just that, leading to selection changes for the Wigan match.

With the club being in the midst of a relegation battle, a cup tie away to Premier League opposition may not be high-up on the priority list so and the focus being on Saturday’s home game against Milwall – a crucial match as City look to avoid the drop.

That means the Bluebirds may give fringe players and youngsters a chance to impress. But who constitutes ‘fringe’ players right now after that first Leeds shake-up?

At the back

Goalkeeper Jak Alnwick is likely to come in for Ryan Allsop as Alnwick started the reverse fixture and made a brilliant penalty save. Injuries, suspensions and departures have left City a little short at the back. Cedric Kipre may come in for Curtis Nelson who started against Wigan last weekend.

O’Dowda is likely to start at left-back in place of the suspended Joel Bagan with Niels Nkounkou having left the club. Mark McGuinness is back in training with the Bluebirds but it is unclear whether he has yet been re-registered to play after the lifting of the transfer embargo.

In the middle

Sheyi Ojo enjoyed a strong first tie performance which earned him a rare start against Wigan, but does that now mean he is in the preferred first XI and might be rested for Millwall? Jaden Philogene also had a cracker against Leeds and is used to the Premier League environs but is three games in a week too much?

Romain Sawyers, also strong against Leeds, could come in for Ryan Wintle. Gavin Whyte and Rubin Colwill might be eyeing starting spots too.

Up front

Kion Etete may come in for Issak Davies, who is having his minutes managed post-injury and is likely to be spared three games in a week.

Callum Robinson, who was on the bench against Wigan after returning from a knock, may need a start to aid his recovery but he too is a vital member of the fight against relegation.

Predicted Cardiff City line-up vs Leeds United: Alnwick, Sang, Kipre, Simpson, O’Dowda, Sawyers, Rinomhota, Ojo, Philogene, Harris, Etete.