Mark Jackson has been able to call on a stronger selection of players for Leeds United under-21s’ EFL Trophy fixture with Oldham Athletic this evening.
The development squad head coach named a starting XI aged between 15 and 18 for their opening Papa John’s Trophy fixture versus Tranmere Rovers two weeks ago.
Consequently, the experienced League Two dispatched of the junior Whites with relative ease, going three goals up by half-time.
A tentative fight-back followed as the Football League opposition sat back and protected the scoreline, but Leeds fought valiantly given the circumstances.
Several leading under-23s were omitted from that squad a fortnight ago, many of whom required to fill the first-team’s substitutes bench due to an injury, suspension and COVID-19 crisis.
With senior players gradually returning to the fold, Jackson has named Crysencio Summerville, Leo Hjelde, Lewis Bate and Kristoffer Klaesson in his starting XI this evening.
Many have been involved in the young Whites’ strong start to the Premier League 2 Division 1 season, which sees Leeds’ under-23 side sitting pretty in fourth place.
Oldham Athletic on the other hand have begun their campaign in trying circumstances.
Discontent amongst the supporters, directed at controversial ownership and frequent managerial turnover, has contributed to a gradual slump in results since Abdallah Lemsagam’s takeover of the Greater Manchester club.
The Latics currently sit bottom of the Football League pyramid, 24th in League Two, and recently suffered the ignominy of a 7-0 defeat to Brentford in the League Cup.
However, recent results suggest a corner has been turned, with back-to-back clean sheets in the league and a 1-0 win over local rivals Rochdale at the weekend.
That said, the side Leeds have named this evening is one which should be competitive enough to earn a result, perhaps even a first win in this competition as an elite academy.
Leeds United XI: Klaesson, Sutcliffe, Hjelde, Moore, McCarron, Bate, Allen, Miller, Summerville, McGurk, Dean
Subs: Van den Heuvel, Drameh, McKinstry, Kenneh, Hughes
Oldham Athletic XI: Leutwiler (GK), Fage, McGahey, Dearnley, Da Silva, Vaughan, Bettache, Jameson, Stobbs, Bowden, Couto