Marcelo Bielsa has enjoyed a fantastic beginning to life at Elland Road but he faces a true test of his resources this afternoon when his side travel to The Den to face Milwall.
A lengthy layoff for Patrick Bamford gave Leeds supporters genuine cause for concern at the start of the week before things went from bad to worse with the news that Kemaar Roofe will also miss today’s clash.
It will be interesting to see how Leeds line up in the absence of their two first choice strikers, with a potential call up for Tyler Roberts looking the most likely resolution to the glaring problem.
However, with Roberts’ inexperience to consider, Bielsa would be wise to mix things up in midfield to offer added support to the 19-year-old in attack.
Despite having a quiet start to the season thus far it seems certain that Samu Saiz will start just behind Roberts in a number ten role, but if Leeds want to maximise their goal-scoring potential then Bielsa needs to hand Lewis Baker (valued at £4.95 million by Transfermarkt) his first start since arriving on loan from Chelsea.
That switch would force Bielsa to drop one of his more defensive minded midfielders to the bench, with Kalvin Phillips the most likely man to make way.
Whilst Phillips has been excellent for the most part this season, Baker offers a forward-thinking dynamism which should help Leeds to cope with the absence of Roofe at the spearhead of the attack.
With a midfield pairing of Mateusz Klich and Lewis Baker marshalling the midfield and Saiz operating slightly ahead of them, Leeds will have a high level of creative quality to ensure they fill the void left by Roofe.
It’s a risky decision for Bielsa to make considering Phillips naturally offers more protection for the back-four than Baker, but the Argentine will need to make a bold decision if he wants to come away from this huge test with another 3 points to savour.
A forward-thinking passer with the incisive vision to carve Milwall’s defence wide open, Baker would add a much needed creative edge to the Leeds attack.
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