Leeds United return to action tonight as they travel away from home to face high-flying Premier League rivals Fulham in the FA Cup. 

It marks Javi Gracia’s second game since his arrival, with his debut marking a sensational all-important victory over relegation rivals Southampton. He could truly endear himself to fans of the Yorkshire outfit should they make it two wins from two, continuing their magical cup run into the quarter-finals.

Although the Spaniard will crave as many wins as possible, he will be aware that the priority lies with safety. As such, the head coach may look to shuffle the pack as they face the Cottagers, who sit just six points outside the top four.

One such change that the boss could employ is to finally hand Georginio Rutter another start, with the club-record signing having been starved of action since his big-money move last month.

He can hardly offer less than Patrick Bamford has done of late, with the English marksman failing to hit the back of the next in his last six Premier League matches.

Will Rutter feature against Fulham in the FA Cup?

Rutter’s only start since joining the Whites has been in this competition and the manager could call upon the forward to lead the line this evening. 

It is yet another move that could have fans praising Gracia as the supporters are surely craving some added exposure to the man the club unloaded such big funds on.

Especially given the flashes of brilliance he has shown in his cameos, where the marksman has boasted a lively play style that outlines him as being desperate to try something fresh in an effort to create a moment of magic.

Against Accrington Stanley, his last start, although he missed two big chances he was constantly forging opportunities for himself and those around him with his trickery.

He recorded one key pass, creating an opportunity for one of his teammates, and was successful in two of his three attempted dribbles before being substituted after 76 minutes – as per Sofascore.

The 20-year-old is still incredibly raw but the only way to allow him to hone his skills is to offer him vital match experience at the top level.

This game against Premier League opposition in a cup competition represents a free hit of sorts, as the Frenchman looks to regain the form that led Football Talent Scout Jacek Kulig to laud his “blistering pace” and “clinical” nature.

Should Gracia hope to keep his side’s FA Cup dream alive whilst furthering the development of one of his brightest stars, Rutter must start tonight.


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