Bielsa may utilise Roofe and Bamford up top more often

This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more… 

On Wednesday evening Leeds United stepped back onto a football pitch for the first time since their heartbreaking playoff semi-final loss against Derby County.

The Whites wasted no time in getting back to their very best as they rushed into a 4-0 lead before half-time against York City.

Interestingly, we saw Marcelo Bielsa do something he rarely did last term, as he opted to start Kemar Roofe and Patrick Bamford up top together.

Last season

Last term Bielsa almost exclusively used a 4-1-4-1 formation which left room for only one striker in the starting line-up.

This meant that Roofe and Bamford rarely played together – in fact, they appeared on the same pitch just five times last season, and Leeds won only one of those games.

The duo also both failed to score when they did feature together, so you can see why Bielsa was hesitant to utilise both of his forwards in the same XI.

Against York

Pre-season is always a good chance to experiment with different styles, and on Wednesday the Argentine opted to take a different approach up top.

Instead of opting for a 4-1-4-1 with an attacking midfielder, Bielsa instead lined up with more of a 4-1-3-2 with Roofe acting more fluidly as a forward.

Fans were impressed by the understanding Roofe and Bamford had together as the 26-year-old continuously dropped deep to play balls through to his partner.

Some fans even thought that last season’s top scorer was playing as a number 10, but he would still be in and around the box whenever the ball was out wide. He was essentially acting as more of a deep-lying striker, whereas Bamford was always looking to get in behind.

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Unfortunately, Bamford couldn’t find the net against York, but with the number of chances the pair created for one another on the night, this partnership could be fruitful for Bielsa’s side next term.

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