Rodrigo to get his chance as defensive injuries mount
10 Dec 2020 09:01 am, by YorkshireSquare
Good Morning. It's Thursday 10th December, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...
Defensive injury woes for Marcelo Bielsa
Last week it was looking good for Marcelo Bielsa with regards to his defensive options, but things started to unravel after just nine minutes at Stamford Bridge on Friday night as Robin Koch hobbled off the pitch. Koch will now undergo knee surgery and is expected to be on the side-lines for three months, a big blow for Bielsa. Whilst Diego Llorente made a competent debut he is also now out for two weeks with a muscle injury.
Bielsa revealed at Wednesday’s press conference that once again Luke Ayling will move into the centre of defence, this time alongside Liam Cooper with Stuart Dallas at right back and Gjanni Alioski at left back. With our two international centre backs out injured, our defence has a somewhat Championship flavour to it. Do we have enough strength in depth to cover injuries? With Koch out for three months do we need to look to strengthen further come January?
Rodrigo, Rodrigo, wherefore art thou Rodrigo
Far be it for me to question Marcelo Bielsa, he is the demiurge or our rebirth into the top flight but it has been frustrating to see out most expensive signing ever sitting on the bench, limited to sparse few minutes per match. But the injuries in defence have been to the benefit of Rodrigo Moreno. Stuart Dallas’ move to right allows Rodrigo to step into the attacking midfield role before Patrick Bamford. Even in the brief glimpses we have seen of Rodrigo since his recovery from Covid-19 we have seen the creative spark he brings to the team, his class is without doubt.
With Rodrigo set for a starting place against West Ham on Friday night, playing behind Patrick Bamford and alongside Raphinha and Jack Harrison, Leeds have an attacking line up most teams in the Premier League should be afraid off. Are you excited to see Rodrigo and Raphinha unleashed together from the start for the first time?
Bielsa names Starting XI ahead of game
At Wednesday’s press conference Bielsa was pressed on who would partner Cooper in defence. “Will you keep West Ham guessing?” asked the reporter, before Bielsa responded “Ah No” and names his full starting eleven for Friday night’s game. It’s not an unusual move for the Argentinian, early on in his reign he named his starting eleven ahead of every game without the need to be prompted but he stopped after concerns were raised over the tactical advantage it gave to opponents.
Even as Bielsa was naming his team his translate had a slightly surprised look on his face. How do you feel about Bielsa giving away his starting eleven again? Does it give the opposition any kind of advantage or can we assume that most Premier League sides with all the analysis done these days have a pretty good chance of working it out any way and preparing well for all possibilities?