Leeds United are winless in their last three games, and they are set to enter the playoffs with a poor run of form behind them. The game against Ipswich Town is more or less inconsequential, but they do need to get a point to make sure they finish third. A fourth-place finish can see them face off against Aston Villa in the semifinals of the playoffs.
Ipswich Town though are unlikely to cause too much trouble to the Whites (famous last words). Ipswich are rooted at the bottom on the table and have been relegated already. However, they would be keen to give their home fans something to cheer for in the final league game of the season at Portman Road.
Leeds United though can use this game as a dress rehearsal for the playoffs which is likely to come against Derby County. The Rams have managed to pick up 10 points in their last four games, and they are likely to go in the playoffs in a better mood.
Bielsa can look to try out certain things in this game which might come in handy against the Rams. Winning the midfield battle could be the key for Bielsa as the Rams often try to build up from central areas. Their wide players Harry Wilson and Tom Lawrence play as inverted wingers, and both of them usually come inside and take up central positions to affect the play. The Rams also like to build up from the back so Leeds United should definitely try to press Ipswich to emulate playing like that in the playoffs.
Here is how Bielsa should lineup against Ipswich keeping the Derby game in mind.
Leed United Predicted Lineup vs Ipswich Town
Kiko Casilla is expected to keep his place in goal. Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper are likely to play as centre backs. With Alioski and Douglas injured, it’s going to come down between Gaetano Berardi or Stuart Dallas. Dallas will offer more while going forward whereas Berardi will be a better defensive option. We feel that Bielsa should start with Berardi as he will be more adept at taking on Harry Wilson who can cut open someone like Dallas. Luke Ayling should start from the right.
Kalvin Phillips should start in the deepest role in midfield. Mateusz Klich is set to operate from central midfield. We would like to see Pablo Hernandez as an attacking midfielder as he is United’s chief orchestrator in the attack. Kemar Roofe should get the nod to play as a right winger. Tyler Roberts did well against Villa after coming on, and he should start over Harrison down the left.
Patrick Bamford should lead the line in this game as well as against Derby. We would like to see Bielsa go in with his best attacking players from the start instead of bringing them on at the half time. Derby might well be taken aback to see Roberts, Roofe and Bamford start together and Bielsa should try out this formula against Ipswich to see the results.