Leeds United will remain without Liam Bridcutt and Pablo Hernandez on Tuesday night (29 November) as Garry Monk's side travel to Anfield for their EFL Cup quarter-final meeting with Liverpool. Captain Bridcutt has not played since suffering a foot problem that forced his substitution during the 49th minute of a narrow Championship victory over Blackburn Rovers in mid-September.
Former Swansea City playmaker Hernandez, currently on an initial six-month loan from Qatari outfit Al-Arabi, missed recent league clashes with Newcastle United and Rotherham United after being ruled out for two to three more weeks with a hamstring issue picked up during the latter stages of a last-gasp 3-2 win at Norwich City earlier this month.
While both players will miss out against Liverpool, Monk, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post, revealed that they are "back out on the grass". He also expressed hope that Bridcutt, who looks closer to a return that Hernandez, could be back in training before the end of the week.
Following their cup date on Merseyside, Leeds, now up to fifth in the Championship after goals from Chris Wood and Souleymane Doukara helped secure a fourth win in five matches against struggling 10-man Yorkshire rivals Rotherham on Saturday, face back-to-back tests against fellow top-six sides Brighton & Hove Albion and Reading.
Speaking on his selection dilemmas ahead of Liverpool, Monk told LUTV: "Everyone wants to play against Liverpool and I have a decision to make. This competition has really helped us, we have used the cup games to really build momentum. When you get to this stage in the competition anything can happen. It is going to be a really good test, no matter what happens it will be a great experience. We want to win, we go into each game with the mentality and belief that we can win and tomorrow is no different."
Premier League title contenders Liverpool will be without Philippe Coutinho for the visit of Leeds after the influential Brazilian was stretchered off with a potentially serious ankle injury following a challenge with Didier Ndong during the first half of a 2-0 victory over Sunderland. Jurgen Klopp stressed the need to wait for the results of a scan to determine the extent of the issue amid fears that he will be sidelined until the New Year with ligament damage, although stand-in Leeds skipper Kyle Bartley is relieved that he will absent for that forthcoming cup tie.
"I'm happy about that, I'm not going to lie", he said.