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Luke Varney set to lead Leeds United attack
10:24am Friday 2nd November 2012 in Sport
MANAGER Neil Warnock looks set to continue with Capital One Cup hero Luke Varney leading the Leeds attack ahead of top scorer Luciano Becchio at Brighton tonight.
Despite being struck by illness, Varney was feted by Warnock as his man of the match in the 3-0 cup elimination of Premier League visitors Southampton.
Now United head for the south coast with Varney’s likely reward to continue at the head of Warnock’s strikeforce in tonight’s live televised clash.
Said Warnock: “Luke Varney epitomised everything.
“He hadn’t been very well – he was sick as well at half-time – and it looked like he would come off. I asked him to give me 20 minutes and in the end he gave me 40 minutes.
“It was great from him. And it was great to hear the applause at the end when he came off because he’s the one that the fans have picked on here and booed.”
Before opting to recall Varney, the Leeds manager revealed he had pondered giving an outing in attack for York teenager Sam Byram, who has been a big hit at right-back and in midfield this season.
“I nearly played Sam there because Luke had been struggling with illness and we haven’t got the pace,” he said. “But the staff talked me out of it.”
Leeds go into the clash against the Seagulls with both teams on 19 points from 13 games apiece this season.
The only thing that separates Brighton in tenth place in the npwer Championship from Warnock’s men, who are one place below, is that tonight’s hosts boast a far superior goal difference.
Victory for Leeds would propel them into the play-off places and also apply pressure on other candidates ahead of tomorrow’s programme of fixtures.
But the same prospect should similarly inspire Brighton – led by ex-Leeds coach Gus Poyet – to post a home triumph.
Capital One Cup clash
LEEDS United’s stellar Capital One Cup quarter-final showdown against European champions Chelsea will be played at Elland Road on Wednesday, December 19, and will be televised live by Sky Sports.