Leeds United face Crystal Palace this weekend. If Marcelo Bielsa’s side could pick up the three points, it would be a big message to the league that they are here for more than just survival. Journalist Graham Smyth believes that veteran Pablo Hernandez is key to helping the Whites pick up the three points.
Smyth’s comments on Hernandez
Smyth believes that the key battle this weekend could be Hernandez against the Palace defence. He said: ‘He’s a fierce competitor capable of producing moments that unlock stubborn defences. Palace boast one of those and will likely sit deep, put up a wall and ask Leeds to try and knock it down. What Leeds need from Hernandez is those little touches and passes that take them through the wall, over it or around it. With Rodrigo out, Hernandez is the main man for creativity.
Can Hernandez unlock the Palace defence?
Pablo Hernandez has had a great spell at Leeds. The Spaniard has 36 goals and 39 assists for the club, but he is now 35, so he is coming to the end of his career.
No matter his age, he seems to be maturing like a fine wine as he still gives Leeds a great creative threat. Phil Hay raved over the midfielder last season, as he said: ‘The guy is just unreal. Played like a demon since the restart.’
It is understandable why Smyth sees him as a key threat as he shone in their promotion season last campaign. Hernandez scored nine goals and picked up nine assists (WhoScored). He also managed on average 2.1 shots, 2.3 key passes and 1.1 successful dribbles.
These stats emphasise that if Bielsa wants to pick up the three points, he needs to make sure the veteran gets as much of the ball as possible.
Simon Jordan has launched a tirade at Bielsa, days before the clash against his former side Crystal Palace. Have a read of it here!
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