Max Gradel

Max Gradel could make his first appearance of the season against his former club

As reported earlier today, Leeds United is in talks with Cardiff City forward Ross McCormack after the clubs agreed on an undisclosed fee.

The potential arrival of a new striker will leave whoever starts in tonight’s Carling Cup 2nd round game against Leicester City desperate to impress manager Simon Grayson in an attempt to cement a place in the first team. After Davide Somma’s influential appearance from the bench on Saturday against Millwall (match report here) he will be hoping for an extended run in the team, possibly alongside the ever-industrious Luciano Becchio.

The game against Leicester City looks set to be the first of the season for Max Gradel after the Ivorian completed his four match ban picked up after his dismissal against Bristol Rovers in the final game of last season. The winger’s return (against his old club) provides an enviable selection problem for Simon Grayson who has seen both Lloyd Sam and Sanchez Watt make great starts to the season. I predict that there may be one or two changes to tonight’s line-up to the one that started against Millwall with Grayson looking to build on Saturday’s good performance and give opportunities to other players.

Expectations for this Carling Cup game may divide Leeds fans. I would put preference on a performance over a result as there’s no doubt that last season’s cup runs certainly had an effect on the players’ form towards the end of the campaign. I would however like us to maintain the level shown against Millwall. As much as cup competitions provide extra excitement and good revenue the primary objective this season is consolidation in the league, if not more.

In other news today Leeds United received a £7500 fine and has been warned of their future conduct by the FA following charges over the involvement of players in disruptive scenes versus Nottingham Forest on August 15th. Forest has been fined £12500 and defender Chris Gunter has received a three match ban for his stamp on Leeds player Sanchez Watt.