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The change Bielsa must make against Derby to ensure Leeds United can solve worrying issue: Comment

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Leeds United took their opportunity to return to the top of the Championship by beating Barnsley 2-0 in an all-Yorkshire affair on Sunday, having seen both Swansea City and Charlton Athletic slip up the day before.

It looked for a while like the deadlock at Oakwell would never be broken but two goals in the last six minutes meant the Whites secured the three points.

They now sit above Swansea on goal difference and face a visit from Derby County on the weekend, in what is set to be a fiery and high-emotion tie.

The last time these two sides met at Elland Road, just over four months ago, the home side saw their promotion hopes drain away as they lost 4-2 to the Rams in a nightmarish play-off second leg (losing 4-3 on aggregate overall).

It is Phillip Cocu, not Frank Lampard, at the helm at Pride Park now but Marcelo Bielsa’s men will still be hunting for revenge.

The Whites will undoubtedly be favourites for the visit of Derby, who are 19th in the Championship with just one win from seven games, and they cannot let the emotion of the affair distract them.

Elland Road has not been a happy hunting ground for Leeds over the last few months as, stretching back to April, Bielsa’s side have won just once in their last seven games at the stadium.

That is not the sort of home record anyone wants to try and build a promotion campaign on and I am sure that the hosts will be determined to put any murmurings about that particular statistic to bed with a win on Saturday.

The issue they may face is that Cocu will likely have looked at the way sides have played at Elland Road this season and might feel he has a blueprint for success against the Whites.

Nottingham Forest, Brentford (successfully for 80 minutes) and Swansea have all arrived ready to batten down the hatches and ensure they stayed strong defensively.

In those three games, Leeds have had 47 shots to their opponents 18, 11 shots on target to their opponents four, but scored just twice and conceded twice.

Up until this point, they don’t appear to have been able to capitalise on their chances but a change for the meeting with Derby could help ensure they do.

In Patrick Bamford, four goals in seven games, and Eddie Nketiah, nine goals this season (including games for the under-23s and England under-21s), Bielsa has two in-form strikers, but up until this point, has not started them together.

It is something he has hinted at in the past and you feel a game at home against a Derby side who will likely look to employ a similar tactic as Forest, Brentford, and Swansea could be an ideal time to utilise it.

Bielsa found a way to start both Bamford and Kemar Roofe together on occasion last season and finding a way to do the same for his current striking duo could be hugely beneficial.

With the recent history of the game, which of course stretches back to the ‘Spygate’ saga, and Leeds’ record at home in the last few months, you feel this is a time they may need maximum firepower from the get-go.

ScoopDragon Football News Network