Predicted Leeds United Lineup vs Leicester City - Shackleton looking to start.
Aston Villa v Leeds United Premier League 23/10/2020. Leeds United midfielder Jamie Shackleton 46 during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Leeds United at Villa Park, Birmingham, England on 23 October 2020. Editorial use only DataCo restrictions apply See PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK , Copyright: xSimonxDaviesx PSI-10922-0166

Leeds United bounced back to winning ways in an emphatic fashion on Friday, registering a thumping 3-0 victory over the in-form Aston Villa. The Whites performed incredibly well throughout the course of the game, notably attempting 27 shots on goal. The win helped them continue their excellent away form in the league so far.

Here, at The 4th Official, we will take a look at three key talking points from Leeds United’s win over Aston Villa on Friday.

Is Luke Ayling Better Fitted At Centre-Back?

Following the absence of three key central defenders in Diego Llorente, Liam Cooper and Gaetano Berardi due to injury, the onus was on Luke Ayling to lead the side from the centre-back position.

The Englishman didn’t disappoint either, emerging as a rock at the back for Leeds United. His reading of the game, combined with his defensive commitment and willingness to win the ball back for his team helped the Whites keep Aston Villa at bay. He also made an important goalline clearance to deny Jack Grealish.

Such performance begs the question as to whether or not Ayling will be better fitted as a central defender. The right-back certainly has the leadership qualities and is much more effective in playing the ball out from the back, so it will be interesting to see how Marcelo Bielsa utilises those qualities going forward.

Three key talking points Leeds United's win over Aston Villa - A top notch display from these two.
Leeds United’s English striker Patrick Bamford (R) holds the match ball after scoring a hat trick and greets Leeds United’s English defender Luke Ayling (L) at the end of the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Leeds United at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on October 23, 2020. (Photo by Nick Potts / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by NICK POTTS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Patrick Bamford Is Better In The Premier League

Patrick Bamford has had his fair share of critics over the years. But the striker has improved his game wonderfully under the leadership of Bielsa and this season, he seems to be relishing the opportunity of silencing his critics by scoring goals week in week out.

The former Chelsea striker has already netted six goals in six league matches, while also registering two assists. His tally of a goal per 82 minutes just speaks for himself.

Although we are still at the early stages of the campaign, Bamford has clearly adapted well to the Premier League. He will be hoping to continue his form in the coming months as Leeds look to get in a good position before the turn of the year.

More Opportunities Coming For Jamie Shackleton

Jamie Shackleton had to come on midway through the first-half following Pascal Struijk’s poor challenge on Grealish that earned him a yellow. And it turned out to be an absolute masterstroke from Bielsa.

Although he didn’t operate in the number six role, Shackleton added more vigour and energy in the midfield unit. He was often a catalyst in Leeds United counterattacks, moving the ball forward efficiently and linking up well with his teammates.

The youngster’s promising display in midfield is sure to get him more game-time in the coming weeks, especially while Pablo Hernandez looks to recover his form and fitness.

Jack O’Brien

A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.