Leeds defender Ben White now faces his toughest test yet

Leeds may be one of the best defensive sides in the league but it’s still very much a grey area.

Pontus Jansson walked out of the doors in the summer for Brentford and even though Ben White has been a more than able replacement, some issues still lie around Elland Road.

The Whites have conceded just five times in the Championship with Ben White and Liam Cooper predominantly at the back.

White won the PFA Fans’ Player of the Month for August but Cooper is now set for six weeks on the sidelines.

That is an issue in itself but the fact he’s the player who’s won the highest number of aerial duels in the side makes it an even bigger problem.

Leeds are already poor at defending set-pieces and 60% of the strikes they’ve let in during 2019/20 have been from dead ball scenarios.

With that in mind, White faces a titanic contest this weekend when the west Yorkshire outfit travel to Bermondsey.

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On the chalkboard

White has been in superb form this season, something that’s evident from the number of interceptions he’s making at 3.5 per game.

However, that may count for nothing this week if Millwall are aiming for the head of Matt Smith.

The striker has only found the net three times so far but his presence in the air is colossal, winning 9.6 aerial duels per match.

The 30-year-old stands at 6 foot 6 and as a result, White faces one of his toughest tests yet – as do the rest of the visitors’ defence.

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The Leeds defender is only 6 foot 1 himself and therefore is considerably shorter. But if Gaetano Berardi also plays, who is 5 foot 10, it seems like somewhat of a mismatch.

Smith could cause a threat by bringing others into play but also from set-pieces. Leeds have struggled to clear their lines and defend set-plays so this doesn’t particularly bode well for Marcelo Bielsa’s men.

In terms of ground duels, it wouldn’t be a great surprise if White got the better of him.

After all, Smith has only completed 47.7% of his passes and manages 1.4 unsuccessful touches per game, via WhoScored.

Though, if Millwall go aerial, White could have his work cut out.

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Article title: Leeds defender Ben White now faces his toughest test yet

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