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Leeds are already putting to bed a big pre-season concern

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

Leeds’ start to the new season has been relatively comfortable and has gone by with little trouble.

After five matches, they are unbeaten, taking themselves top of the Championship table.

Their victory over Stoke was one of their most convincing yet, certainly judging by the scoreline as the defeated the Potters 3-0.

However, in doing so, they showed that they are overcoming one of the major concerns about Leeds heading into 2019/20.

On the chalkboard

Marcelo Bielsa sprung somewhat of a tactical surprise on Saturday as he switched things up to accommodate his injury issues.

Missing the match was Barry Douglas and Liam Cooper so the Argentine went with a three-man defence and a two-prong attack.

In came Gaetano Berardi, impressive in winning five aerial duels, whilst Ezgjan Alioski scored stepping in for Douglas.

One of the problems, however, was taking their chances on a regular basis, something that was noted by Tony Dorigo heading into the new term. Speaking to Yorkshire Evening Post last month he said:

“That was one of my big concerns. At one point we were creating a ridiculous amount of chances but we were in the bottom three for converting them and that doesn’t make too much sense to me.

“I don’t think it can all be aimed at the strikers, per se, because other players need to step up.

Last term, players like Jack Harrison and Tyler Roberts only scored seven between them, even if individuals like Mateusz Klich and Pablo Hernandez netted double figures.

But there is further evidence this season besides when Patrick Bamford missed six opportunities against Forest, that Leeds are beginning to become more clinical.

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In 2018/19, they had 17.2 shots per game, of which 5.3 were on target. Yet this season, despite having 17 shots each match, 5.6 are on target.

It’s a slim difference, but it shows they are beginning to change for the better.

Furthermore, the goals are being shared around, evident by Stuart Dallas and Alioski bagging against Stoke.

Bamford is leading the way with four in five Championship matches but Leeds already have eight different scorers in just six competitive games.

Gaetano Berardi picked up a rare collector’s item against Salford which adds to strikes for Eddie Nketiah, Harrison, Klich and Hernandez.

Major contributions are going to be needed from all over the pitch if Leeds want to get promoted this season and so far, their squad are proving up to the test.

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Article title: Leeds are already putting to bed a big pre-season concern

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