Monday, June 27, 2022

Samuel Saiz To Return For Bielsa? | Predicted 4-1-4-1 Leeds United Lineup To Face West Brom

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Leeds United are back on top of the Championship table once again following a weekend win against Wigan Atletic on the road. But their struggle in finding the rhythm might trouble them again while keeping hold of the leading spot and an away tie against West Bromwich Albion should be considered as a tricker contest compared to recent fixtures.

The Baggies, undergoing a rough run of late, would be desperate to return to winning ways and reclaim a place in the promotion chase on Saturday evening at the Hawthorns. Leeds, under veteran Marcelo Bielsa, have exhibited a discipline, purpose and strategic gameplan this season but the shallowness of the squad, injury woes and therefore tiredness might hinder the Whites in achieving the ultimate success unless reinforcements are brought in during the winter window.

Team News

Leeds have a number of significant long-term injury absentees who are all crucial first-team resources but currently working on their recovery. Gaetano Berardi [hamstring tear], Luke Ayling [MCL] and Patrick Bamford [ligament] are unlikely to return this year whereas youngster Ryan Edmondson is set to remain sidelined with a thigh strain.

Formation

Although the famous 3-3-1-3 or 3-3-3-1 has not been implemented yet in English soil, Bielsa has kept hold of a 4-1-4-1 from the very first gameweek and is tipped to retain the same against West Brom this weekend. A change of tactics, however, might still occur during the game if the situation demands.

Manager: Marcelo Bielsa

Defence

Bailey Peacock-Farrell, the academy prodigy has been trusted as Leeds ‘number 1’, and the youngster is likely to retain his place between the sticks even though he has mostly underperformed in recent fixtures.

The injury of Luke Ayling will see Stuart Dallas occupying the right-back slot as a makeshift but the central defensive duo of Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper should bear added responsibilities, particularly while defending set-pieces. Barry Douglas’ return in his preferred left-back role is a massive relief for the manager as his influential runs, attacking impact, as well as defensive duties, inject balance in the backline.

Midfield

Kalvin Phillips is being groomed as a specialist deep-lying playmaker while operating ‘in the hole’ between the backline and a midfield four. He was more involved defensively against the Latics and likely to showcase a similar approach in West Midlands.

Adam Forshaw of late has replaced Samuel Saiz, and the Englishman should keep his place in the middle of the park alongside Mateusz Klich who is so far a revelation for the West Yorkshire heavyweights. Forshaw is helping the Whites to win back and hold possession in midfield and creating space for his teammates to take on the opponents. Veteran Pablo Hernandez, back from his injury setback, has guided Leeds to recover from their jitters delivering some match-winning performances. The Spaniard will look to continue his excellence from right midfield whereas Ezgjan Alioski, the Macedonia international, is tipped to feature down the left to trouble the Baggies defence with his cut insides, layoffs, runs and threatening crosses.

Attack

Kemar Roofe is back in business with goals and settled in perfectly in a ‘number 9’ role. He has netted seven times in 10 league games, and the excellence upfront is drawing interest from Premier League clubs prior to the upcoming transfer window.

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