A late win against Barnsley at Oakwell in Sunday’s Yorkshire derby led Leeds United to grab the top of the table spot ahead of their fierce contest against Derby County. The Rams made it through to the playoff final last season defeating the Whites at Elland Road. Despite a disastrous start this term under new boss Phillip Cocu, the Derbyshire giants must be determined to shock the hosts who are struggling at home.
Leeds have dropped five points so far in the league having drawn and lost against Nottingham Forest and Swansea City respectively in West Yorkshire. Their League Cup exit against Stoke City occurred in the same venue and Tony Dorigo, the club legend who represented Derby too, has highlighted the same while speaking to LUTV ahead of the weekend encounter.
“I think at home we have a slight problem that could turn into a bigger problem if we are not careful. We need to have composure and patience. Sometimes, maybe the fans, as well as the players, think ‘well, we’ve had four chances now, why haven’t we scored?’”
Why Dorigo Is Spot On With His Observation
The concern raised by the Australia-born former England international might sound bizarre to many. But the problem is real as it has been observed on quite a few occasions towards the closure of the previous campaign. Injuries were not the only reason behind the downfall as they failed to maintain the rhythm throughout the match after squandering opportunities early on.
The same has been observed against Forest as well as the Swans. Patrick Bamford, in particular, was wasteful in front of goal and the Whites could not retain their composure in the final minutes that led to conceding goals against the run of play. The home form, therefore, is alarming for Marcelo Bielsa’s men and the fans must create a hostile ambience for the Saturday opponents to seek revenge for their playoff heartbreak.
What Changes Bielsa Should Make Against the Rams
Although the veteran Argentine prefers to retain the same setup week in week out, a few of his regulars need to be rotated following several underwhelming performances. Bamford, despite scoring four times in the league, lost the plot after the break against the Tykes. Eddie Nketiah came on to replace him in the second half, and the young Arsenal loanee sealed all three points for his side to stake a claim in Bielsa’s first-team plan.
Jack Harrison should be dropped too to make way for Helder Costa from the start whereas the experience of Barry Douglas must be utilised down the left-hand side of Leeds United’s backline.
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