Leeds looking up the table following Leicester win
01 Feb 2021 08:06 am, by YorkshireSquare
Good Morning. It's Monday 1st February, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...
Leeds looking up the table, but how far can they go?
It’s been a great week for Leeds United with important victories against Newcastle United and Leicester City. The win at St James Park on Tuesday night put some breathing space between Leeds and the relegation battle going on below them. Marcelo Bielsa’s side widened the gap between themselves and Newcastle in 16th to 7 points whilst pulling further ahead of Fulham, the gap to 18th stretching to 13 points following their draw with Brighton on Wednesday night.
Sunday’s result against third place Leicester, a surprise to many, means Leeds United can now start looking up the table rather than over their shoulders at the chasing pack. Now fifteen points clear of 18th and only 4 points off the top six Leeds can start to dream about how far up the table they can finish. There are some top sides above us in the table and some tough games ahead but there are points to be won with games against Palace and Wolves this month.
With Premier League safety surely just a couple of victories away how far do you think we can finish up the table? Is 11th or 12th our level or can we aim higher?
Injury crisis deepens ahead of Everton game, who would you play?
The only downside of Sunday’s game was the potential injuries ahead of the mid-week game against Everton. Rodrigo hobble off the pitch after 21 minutes with what looked like a groin strain. If that is the case, he could be on the side-lines for 4-6 weeks. Raphinha also left the field after 80 minutes and whilst Marcelo Bielsa was not clear on the severity of the Brazilian’s injury in his post-match press-conference, if serious it would be a major blow.
Bielsa has options in the middle of midfield, Stuart Dallas and Mateusz Klich combined well in the centre of the park for 70 minutes and Pablo Hernandez, Tyler Roberts and Jamie Shackleton also provide options. But if Raphinha is missing Marcelo Bielsa could have a selection dilemma. Helder Costa has failed to impress in recent substitute appearances, whilst Ian Poveda promises a lot but often fails to deliver. Could veteran Pablo Hernandez make a comeback out wide?
If Rodrigo and Raphinha are missing on Wednesday who would you play instead?
Another impressive performance from Pascal Struijk
The centre of defence has been a weakness for Leeds United all season, not because we don’t have quality defenders but because they have spent a large amount of time on the treatment table. I have lost count of the number of partnerships who have played this season and youngster Pascal Struijk has been drafted in to fill in at centre half and defensive midfield. For the last two games he has reverted to his natural central defensive role and has looked impressive.
Struijk has defended well despite playing on his unfavoured right hand side and played a key part in the second and third goals, winning the ball back for Leeds. In total he had 83 touches, made 55 of 67 successful passes (most on the pitch), 4 interceptions (most on the pitch), 4 ball recoveries, 3 headed clearances and blocked a shot. Is the young Dutchman securing his place in the side? Even with Llorente or Koch back should Struijk make way in the centre of defence?
Stats from LUFCDATA