Jesse Marsch should consider making two bold changes ahead of his first game in charge of Leeds United, as the Whites visit Leicester City on Saturday.
Marsh goes straight to a 4-4-2
The American replaced Marcelo Bielsa earlier in the week and he will waste no time implementing his own tactics, as Leeds’ playing style is significantly tweaked.
It could well be that Marsh immediately opts for a two-man strike-force, rather than Bielsa’s preference for one man leading the line in a 4-1-4-1 system.
A 4-4-2 formation would be the system of choice, or a variant on it like a 4-2-2-2, with attacking wingers supplying the duo in attack, and a less rigid approach on show but more fluency coming into play.
Indeed, Phil Hay revealed earlier this week we could see the switch to a traditional front two, and we believe there should be two key alterations from the 4-0 defeat at home to Tottenham that will help this tweak come to fruition.
While it would be a heartwarming sight to see Patrick Bamford back in the starting line-up, the trip to Leicester will surely come too soon for him, as he continues to work his way back from injury.
Instead, youngster Sam Greenwood could represent a left-field option to come in and lead the line, having been described as an ‘immense’ talent by Noel Whelan in the past.
The 20-year-old has had injury problems of his own this season, not featuring since early January, but he is back fit and a hugely exciting prospect who could act as an alternative to Joe Gelhardt.
Greenwood has scored 21 goals in 35 appearances for Leeds’ Under-23s, and while the step up to the Premier League is clearly great, youngsters possess a fearlessness that can be priceless in a relegation fight, especially when looking to impress a new manager. Granted, he only has four first-team games to his name but it could be a gamble that pays off.
Rodrigo in, Harrison out
Joining Greenwood in attack could be Rodrigo, who was invariably used as a No.10 by Bielsa but can be equally adept further forward, having enjoyed 100 goal involvements (59 goals, 41 assists) in 220 appearances for Valencia.
Leeds’ record signing could flourish playing closer to another striker, using his link-up play and creativity to good use, not to mention having Dan James and Raphinha providing ammunition from the flanks, too.
Making way for Rodrigo would surely be Jack Harrison, who hasn’t scored or assisted since his hat-trick away to West Ham in January, too often finding himself on the periphery of games.
It would be a bold move from Marsch to go straight to a change of formation at such a key point in the season but a freshen-up is required away from the gung-ho tactics that Bielsa often adopted.
Gelhardt may be the favourite to start alongside Rodrigo in a two-man attack, but new managers always see different things, and perhaps Greenwood could spring a shock at Leicester.
In other news, Leeds are reportedly ‘keeping tabs’ on one player. Find out who it is here.
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