Saturday, June 25, 2022

Leeds United vs Aston Villa: A Tactical Preview On How The Two Sides Must Approach This Fixture

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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 were flying high in Championship until recently when a couple of dreadful defeats against Wigan and Brentford derailed their season. They were favourites to clinch the automatic promotion spots but now have to prepare themselves for the playoffs.

The Whites, meanwhile, have a stern test this weekend against in-form Aston Villa and the players must focus on delivering a spirited display to regain their confidence while chasing a top-flight return. The supporters must back their players as they have done all season and make the job harder for the Villans at a hostile Elland Road.

On their current run, the visitors are favourites to clinch a result on the road. They are enjoying an outrageous ten-game winning streak in the league, and the appointment of Dean Smith has turned things around astoundingly despite a bumpy start. These two sides might face off in the playoffs again, but the contest on Sunday lunchtime would allow them the opportunity to measure their opponents before the ultimate battle in the playoffs.

Leeds United – Tactical Analysis And How They Should Approach

Marcelo Bielsa is hailed as one of the pioneers of modern-day football. But the veteran Argentine must be feeling the grind and demands of the English calendar after failing to increase the squad depth over the past couple of windows. Although known for his creativity and innovation, the gaffer has been rigid with his team’s set-up all season. He must try out a few changes to build Leeds United’s chemistry and combination play.

The players have showcased great work ethics with high pressing, swift passing and quick movement all over the pitch. But their touches look a bit heavy of late and a lack of coordination at times resulted in wastefulness high up the pitch. Veteran Pablo Hernandez has been Leeds United’s main man this season, but he must be utilised more centrally to drive the game and orchestrate the flow by dictating its tempo.

Jack Clarke and Tyler Roberts down the flanks would inject more firepower, variation and creative spark upfront enabling Patrick Bamford to be more prolific inside the box.

Aston Villa– Tactical Analysis And How They Should Approach

Villa, on the other hand, have been pretty straightforward with their strategy. Smith prefers a set-up similar to Bielsa (4-1-4-1), but their game involves the skipper Jack Grealish who not only dominates the game centrally but also offers his presence high up the pitch with goals, assists and the creation of chances. The playmaker might be expecting a duel against Kalvin Phillips and should look to showcase his usual display to distort Leeds’ defensive shape.

Tammy Abraham has exhibited his stupendous goal-poaching instinct throughout, and the manager must be counting on the Chelsea loanee once more to seek revenge for their 3-2 defeat at Villa Park in the reverse fixture. The Whites have been vulnerable defensively, and the youngster should concentrate on stretching his scoring streak to keep pushing for the Golden Boot reward knocking off Norwich’s Teemu Pukki.

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