The FA Cup gets underway for Leeds United on Monday night as they face off against League Two side Cambridge United. It’s an occasion that’ll mark the first competitive meeting between Leeds and Cambridge since 1984 and the first fixture since Andrea Radrizzani took shared control of the club.

With Leeds in great form and Cambridge sitting more than 50 places below them in the football pyramid, on paper, this should be a comfortable victory. However, BetHut’s football tips and news has a great article reminding us of the FA Cup’s propensity for third round shocks, a phenomena Leeds are no strangers to having been knocked out by non-league side Histon in 2008. Two years later, Leeds were the perpetrators of an FA Cup third round upset, eliminating bitter rivals Manchester United on their own turf, despite being a League One side at the time.

There’s no excuse for complacency then and while Garry Monk doesn’t strike me as the kind of man who’ll take victory for granted, it’s important no one involved underestimates a Cambridge United side who are in very good form themselves. Undefeated in their last 7 league games, Cambridge have won 6 and scored 18 times. During that run, they also knocked League One Coventry City out of the FA Cup with a 4-0 hammering.

Cambridge are undoubtedly an in-form side that demand respect. However, The Whites are currently fifth in the Championship and with a busy fixture schedule ahead, Garry Monk has to prioritise league fixtures and will likely take this opportunity to rest key personnel. Pontus Jansson has taken a few heavy knocks recently so I’d be surprised if he features, while the recently returned trio of Pablo Hernandez, Chris Wood and Gaetano Berardi will likely make way for squad players and youngsters. All four players are vitally important to Leeds’ promotion push so any opportunity to wrap them in cotton wool and give them an extra few days of rest is a welcomed one Garry Monk will almost certainly take full advantage of, even if that does mean handing Cambridge United a golden opportunity to spring a third round upset.

The January transfer window is now open of course and while there’s been little in the way of solid speculation linking anyone with Elland Road thus far, Garry Monk today reiterated his desire to bring in a couple more players this month so we may yet see a new face on Monday night. While Monk hasn’t confirmed the positions he’s looking to strengthen, they’ll almost certainly be attacking players – probably a new striker to support Chris Wood and someone to provide a bit of added service from the wing.

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