The new Championship season is only a week away with Leeds facing Bristol City at Ashton Gate on Sunday 4th August. The players have been back in pre-season training for five weeks and have played a handful of ‘friendlies’ in Yorkshire, Manchester, Italy and on the other side of the world in Australia. It’s difficult to read too much into the line-ups and results in pre-season games, especially with the squad having been split on opposite sides of the world and the eleven you would think would line up against Bristol City not having all played together. We take a look at six of the key pre-season fixtures and what we can take away from each of them.
York City 0, Leeds United 5
Goals: Harrison 3, 44 Roofe 22, Hernandez 34, Forshaw 53
The five-nil victory over York City at Bootham Crescent was as comprehensive a victory I have seen in pre-season for a long time. Jack Harrison scored twice with Kemar Roofe, Pablo Hernandez and Adam Forshaw all bagging one each. Yes, York are outside of the Football League but we have floundered there in the past. Leeds looked sharp, passing was quick, accurate, they took their chances well and the team looked fit. Alfie McCalmont and Jack Harrison were particularly impressive as were the myriad of U23 players who stared in the second half. The future is most definitely bright and with the likes of Casey, Struijk and Hosannah coming through it’s easy to see why Halme and Diaz were let go by the club.
Leeds Team: Casilla, Douglas (Jenkins 62), Cooper (Struijk 62), Berardi (Casey 62), Dallas (Hosannah 62), Forshaw (Gotts 62), McCalmont (Oduor 62), Harrison (McCarron 62), Hernandez (Mujica 62), Roofe (Temenuzhkov 62), Bamford (Edmondson 62)
Guiseley 1, Leeds United 2
Goals: Costa 69, Bogusz 80
The game against Guiseley was anything but a stroll in the park. Guiseley were a far more physical outfit than York, many of their players towered well above Bielsa's lads and they took the lead early on but Leeds fought back to win two-one. White, Klich and Shackleton all looked good but it was new signing Helder Costa who impressed the most showing the skill and class he will bring to the team next season. The youngsters impressed again when given the chance with Nohan Kenneh and Miazek putting in good performances. One takeaway should be that Kalvin Phillips is best not used as a central defender.
Leeds Team: Peacock-Farrell (Miazek 45), Shackleton, Davis, White (Kenneh 74), Alioski (Huggins 86), Klich, Phillips, Bogusz, Stevens, Costa, Clarke
Manchester United 4, Leeds United 0
What can you learn playing a friendly on the other side of the world with a weakened side against a team who have one player worth more than your entire club? Probably not a great deal more than we already knew. The Leeds line-up was probably short of four players we would expect to start next season but we lack pace at the back with a Berardi and Cooper central defensive partnership, we don’t convert enough of our chances, Bamford and Roofe are still learning how to play together in this system and we missed Klich. Despite the scoreline Leeds did have their moments and created some good chances in the game. As much as they are our old rivals, the result doesn’t matter a feeling shared by Bielsa as he flew for the minimum time possible before the game.
Leeds Team: Casilla, Dallas (Hosannah 66), Cooper, Berardi, Douglas, Phillips, Forshaw, Harrison, Hernandez (Stevens 77), Roofe, Bamford (Bogusz 63)
Pre-season Review Part 2 >>
Including Tadcaster, Western Sydney and Cagliari Calcio