Many Leeds United fans have been discussing who Marcelo Bielsa’s options could be when deciding his left-back for our New Year’s Day clash with West Bromwich Albion.
We head to the Hawthorns atop the league standings on goal difference to the Baggies, after beating Birmingham City 5-4 while Middlesbrough triumphed over Slaven Bilic’s West Midlands outfit.
Bielsa had favoured a three-at-the-back formation for our final game of 2019, with Liam Cooper, Ben White and Luke Ayling forming United’s backline at St. Andrew’s, supported by Ezgjan Alioski and Jack Harrison on the left and Stuart Dallas and Helder Costa on the right.
Some supporters seemingly feel the boss ought to consider reverting his tactics back to include an out-and-out full-back, though, having favoured the use of a 4-1-4-1 or 4-2-3-1 for much of the campaign before dabbling with the 3-3-3-1 seen at Birmingham.
Should Bielsa consider the use of a four-man backline against West Brom, the Argentine could call on previous first-choice left-backs Alioski, Dallas or Barry Douglas, while the prospect of deploying natural centre-half Gaetano Berardi on the flank has also been mentioned online.
Who should play at left-back vs West Brom?
Dallas has won the most tackles per 90 minutes of the left-backs so far called on by Bielsa in the league this season, with the 28-year-old winning 3.8 of 4.6 tackles to Alioski’s 2.1 from 3.7 and Douglas’ 1.0 from 1.7, per WhoScored data.
Alioski leads the trio for interceptions per 90 with 1.3 to Dallas’ 0.6 and Douglas’ 0.3, while the trio have 1.4, 0.4 and 0.7 clearances and 1.1, 1.2 and 1.0 blocks per 90 respectively.
Here are some of the messages shared from fans discussing Bielsa’s options for our top-of-the-table New Year’s Day clash with West Brom…
I’d be tempted to put Berardi at left back against WBA. More defensive against their wide players. #LUFC
— FocusOnLeeds (@FocusOnLeeds) December 30, 2019
Good shout. Maybe bring Alioski on later to have a burn!
— Simon Harrow (@simonjh) December 30, 2019
Been thinking that too but I’d go Dallas at left back, start Roberts and have Alioski on the bench if we need to chase the game.
— Graham Hunt (@grezlufc) December 30, 2019
I would go with a back 3 personally
— Jack (@JackSnowey) December 30, 2019
Dallas for me. Work rate is phenomenal but he’s definitely not a CM!
— J T (@JakeTaylor200) December 30, 2019
I’d go Ayling and Dallas full backs. Roberts in the 10. Roberts destroyed them at Elland Road last season
— Tomo (@TomLufc94) December 30, 2019
I’d have Dallas there and put Roberts in the 10. Klich in the 8.
— Matthew Keegans-Wood (@keegans_wood) December 30, 2019
You just know its gonna be an unchanged selection don’t you though, can just feel it. With the exception of Bam perhaps
— Chris Byrne (@ChrisByrne1986) December 30, 2019
In other Leeds United news, a £7.2m-rated man has come in for criticism for his recent performances.