After a stunning start to the Premier League season, Leeds were handed their first defeat over the weekend at the hands of Birmingham City. It wasn’t necessarily a poor performance from the club, but it was far from their best display of the season, and that doesn’t bode too well for them long-term.
It’s important that the Whites quickly return to form at the first time of asking, but they’re facing a tough test as they look to do just that. They’re facing Sheffield Wednesday on Friday in a game that could be huge in the context of their season. A win will make their defeat against Birmingham seem insignificant, whilst a loss could see them spiral out of control. Getting a good result, then, is essential.
One thing that Leeds lacked over the weekend was their characteristic lethality in front of goal, and so whilst Bielsa has stated that he isn’t planning any changes for the game, perhaps this is where Argentine should focus his attention.
But who should be in his attack to face Wednesday?
The 4-1-4-1 system is one that offers a great balance, and for Leeds, it’s a formation that makes sense. They’ve got bags of attacking talent, and it makes sense for them to maximise that. By getting 5 creative players on the field, Bielsa stands the best chance of taking the fight to Wednesday.
On the flanks, Jack Harrison would be a fine candidate to man the left-hand, or indeed the right side of the attack. He’s simply fantastic with the ball at his feet, and he always offers a threat when he’s on the field. He’s been a consistent member of the team in recent weeks, and he’s already bagged his first goal of the season. On the other side, perhaps Bielsa could make a change. Ezgjan Alioski scored over the weekend, but it’s fair to say that his performance was otherwise pretty poor. He lacked the energy and quality that Leeds need in the attack, and whilst he’s a useful player, his performances have slowed down a lot as of late. Given the loss, then, perhaps a fresh face could be needed – and Stuart Dallas could be an ideal. It’s going to be difficult for Leeds against Wednesday, and in those sort of games, Dallas is just the sort of player that is needed. Hard-working, committed and eager to make a difference, he’d add some much-needed energy.
Alongside them, playing through the middle, the duo of Samuel Saiz and Mateusz Klich should retain their place. Klich, in particular, has had a stellar start to the season, with 3 goals and 2 assists, and he’ll no doubt be eager to make things right this weekend. Likewise, Saiz is an excellent man to have in the heart of the midfield, with his quality and technique enough to rival anyone at the club.
Leading the line, it’s hard to look past Tyler Roberts. Kemar Roofe is still injured, and Roberts has been a good deputy thus far. With 2 goals in 3 appearances, he’s got a decent goalscoring record, and perhaps another game in the first team could help him kick on. With the news that Roofe is on his way back, perhaps that will give him the fire needed to sake his place.
Leeds fans – thoughts? Is this the attack you would pick?
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