There weren’t many positives to take from Leeds United’s defeat to Norwich City last weekend, with Marcelo Bielsa’s side well beaten by those from Carrow Road.
Leeds’ fanbase was expectant and boisterous as kick-off approached, but Mario Vrancic and Teemu Pukki struck inside the first-half to silence them, before the former sent a percentage home with a third goal in the second.
Patrick Bamford’s consolation made the scoreline a respectable 3-1, with his cameo something positive to take. The 25-year-old has had a torrid time with injuries since arriving in Leeds and will be hoping that’s all behind him after his latest comeback.
The former Boro man met Barry Douglas’ corner to score his goal, but his general play was also good, with Bamford given the opportunity to link up with Kemar Roofe for the first time this season.
Roofe dropped into the No.10 role, with Bamford spearheading the Leeds attack, a tactic that some supporters might be hoping to see this weekend as Bielsa’s side look to bounce back against Middlesbrough.
Firstly, Roofe has 14 goals to his name this season and has done a superb job in leading the line for Leeds. But the No.10 role is one he can thrive in – he’s got great close control, links play well and has an obvious eye for goal.
The way Leeds play means that Roofe will be freed of some defensive duties, with a big license to go and support Bamford in attack. Bielsa’s side haven’t been anywhere near productive enough since the turn of the year, but the return of Bamford will help them start getting things right in that area of the pitch.
Bamford has two goals in his last two appearances for Leeds, although an injury lay-off separates those two outings. He’s a clinical player who will be looking to prove to Leeds that he’s worth the multi-million pound fee they forked out for him.
He might not be ready for 90 minutes yet and it might be a bold call, but Leeds need a reaction against Boro after a disappointing evening against Norwich. The only real positive from that defeat was seeing Bamford back and linking up with Roofe.
That’s something that could give Leeds an edge at the Riverside and is certainly something fans would be on board with.