Leeds United are going to take in a narrow advantage to the second leg as they host Derby County at Elland Road. Kemar Roofe scored the winner at Pride Park, and on the balance of play, one has to say Leeds United deserved to go one nil up before the second leg.
However, Bielsa will know that the job is far from over even though they dominated the Derby game for most parts. Lampard’s men didn’t have a shot on target throughout the game, and the closest they came to scoring was when the referee awarded a controversial penalty which was rightfully ruled out by the linesman. But we expect the away side to come in hard in the second leg so we might see a more extravagant style of play from the Rams. Here is what Bielsa needs to do to ensure United’s safe passage to the final.
The clean sheet should be a priority
Leeds United have found it hard to score goals off late as they just haven’t been able to create that magic moment in the final third. The attacking players have also missed quite a few chances recently. Therefore Leeds United will need to build their victories in the playoffs on the back of cleansheets.
That is what they did in the first leg as Derby weren’t even allowed a sniff at Leeds United’s goal. The Rams decided to sit back deep, and the Whites were comfortable in possession for the most parts.
Derby County might press a bit high in this game as they know that they need to score to get back in the game. That, in turn, should allow the Whites to gain spaces in the attacking third and midfield if they can beat the initial press.
Committing cynical fouls but not in dangerous areas
Leeds United usually enjoy plenty of possession, and the fullbacks push high up the pitch. Their only problem is when they lose the ball, Derby can be dangerous on the counter. Bielsa should give his players the freedom to commit the cynical fouls around the halfway line during the transition phase. However, they need to make sure that they don’t commit such fouls in dangerous areas as the Rams have a deadly set-piece specialist in the form of Harry Wilson.
Not overdoing playing from the back
Derby County never looked like creating an opportunity by themselves. We feel that they will get their best chances only because of Leeds United’s mistakes and probably through penalty or set pieces. Leeds United need to make sure that they don’t overdo playing from the back if the Rams press high. It goes without saying that silly mistakes need to be avoided by the Whites.
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