Leeds United will look to seal the 2019/20 Championship campaign and directly enter to next season’s Premier League when they lock horns with Derby County on Sunday. The Whites are heading into this game with a five-point lead over second-placed West Bromwich Albion. And with just two games remaining, a draw would be enough for them to secure direct promotion.
Derby County, meanwhile, do mathematically have a chance of finishing inside top six. They are currently standing 11th in the league table, so it is pretty much impossible for them to secure a place in the promotion playoffs. But with nothing to lose, the Rams could pose a strong challenge for Leeds United this weekend.
Derby County Vs Leeds United Tactical Preview
Derby County boss Philipp Cocu is unlikely to stray from his tried and tested 4-2-3-1 setup. Their primary aim will be to frustrate Leeds United, who did struggle in the last game against Barnsley. Derby will look to employ a similar approach by defending deep and relying on their useful attackers, on the counter.
Marcelo Bielsa, meanwhile, will hope that his side’s individual quality and collective understanding should be enough for them to overcome the challenge posed by Derby County this weekend. But more importantly, the Argentine will be keen to impose a cautious mentality as avoiding a defeat could go a long way in helping Leeds secure promotion by the end of the weekend.
Cocu will be boosted by the return of club’s topscorer, Martyn Waghorn. But the Dutchman continues to miss out on the services of Andre Wisdom and Krystian Bielik through injury. We could expect Derby County to make a few alternations in defence, however, as the Rams look to put an end to their run of three back to back losses.
Predicted Derby County Lineup: Hamer; Bogle, Clarke, Davies, Lowe; Rooney, Bird; Knight, Sibley, Lawrence; Waghorn.
Marcelo Bielsa made an interesting decision to deploying Ben White in holding midfield, in the absence of the injured Kalvin Phillips. He is most likely to persist with that system, with the defending being partnered by Mateusz Klich and Tyler Roberts while Pablo Hernandez is a guaranteed option on the bench.
Predicted Leeds United Lineup: Meslier; Ayling, Berardi, Cooper, Dallas; White; Costa, Klich, Roberts, Harrison; Bamford.
With Wagborn back from suspension, the onus will be on the 30-year-old striker to provide the productivity for Derby County this weekend. In a game where his team is unlikely to receive too many scoring opportunities, his finishing could come in handy as the Rams look to upset Leeds United.
Leeds United will be counting on Hernandez to make the difference against Derby County. The Spaniard has the quality to exploit a Derby defence that has looked sloppy in recent weeks. And although he is unlikely to be a starter, his experience and brilliant passing range should add another dimension to Leeds’ creative unit in the second half.
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