Leeds United prepare to face Blackburn Rovers on Saturday afternoon in yet another televised fixture, and they will be looking to climb back into top spot before 3pm by claiming all three points at Ewood Park.
Marcelo Bielsa has answered all of the questions which have been thrown in his direction since taking charge of the club, with a series of injury problems depriving him of the chance to unleash a handful of his most devastating attacking players.
One of those players is the Whites’ joint top-goalscorer so far this season, Kemar Roofe, but he has recovered from his injury problem and will be available for selection on Saturday.
19-year-old Tyler Roberts has deputised for Roofe in his absence and he has pleasantly surprised the supporters by notching 3 goals from 6 appearances, including a brilliant long-range strike which enabled Leeds to record a 1-0 victory over Hull City at the start of October.
The form he has demonstrated in Roofe’s absence hints at a bright future for the teenager, and his performances have presented Bielsa with a dilemma ahead of the trip to Lancashire: stick with Roberts or restore Roofe to the starting line-up.
Naturally, the solution which both Bielsa and the Leeds supporters are likely to be leaning towards would see Roofe start the match at the spearhead of the attack, but there are other factors worth considering.
Although Roberts will certainly be aware of his standing in Leeds’ squad, it seems rather cutthroat from Bielsa to drop him as soon as Roofe becomes available after injury.
After all, the season will not be decided at Ewood Park and Roberts has shown more than enough promise to warrant another starting berth.
With the intention of boosting Roberts’ confidence and proving to a handful of fringe players that positive performances will be duly rewarded, Bielsa should hand him another start at centre-forward and instead reintroduce Roofe on the right-side of an attacking midfield three.
When fit, Roofe has been a mainstay through the middle so far this season, but it’s worth noting that he scored 8 goals and provided 3 assists from the right last season – a statistic which proves Bielsa could reap the rewards from shaking things up.
Roofe’s inclusion out wide would delay Pablo Hernandez’s return to the starting lineup, but Roberts’ surprise rise to prominence is more than enough to suggest that one of the aforementioned returnees will need to miss out to accommodate him.
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