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 have started the season with the exact same line-up in every Championship fixture as Marcelo Bielsa has preferred a degree of familiarity.
Having a favoured starting XI gets everyone on the same page early on but against Brentford on Wednesday, he could be forced into making some changes.
Bielsa claimed in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday that Liam Cooper, Barry Douglas and Ezgjan Alioski could all miss out, leading to the Argentine revealing who could feature in place of the first two names.
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The two players tasked with deputising could be Jamie Shackleton and Stuart Dallas. That’s according to the manager anyway who has suggested the latter will move over to left-back if required.
That means Shackleton will take up a role on the right-hand side of defence.
Dallas has played the majority of his football on the wing and in place of Luke Ayling, has started the campaign at right-back.
However, he could soon find himself in a role he started to become adept in towards the back end of 2018/19.
In shipping four goals against Derby in the playoff semi-finals, it was a poor defensive display but going forward, Dallas was exceptional.
With that in mind, there shouldn’t be any concerns or fears over his ability to slot in as a like-for-like replacement for Douglas.
Against Wigan, the Scot was impressive in the final third, having two shots, playing two key passes and making four crosses, per WhoScored.
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Yet, in that game against Derby last term, Dallas had a colossal six attempts on goal, two of which he scored from, emphasising his prowess in attacking phases.
The 28-year-old was the star player in an otherwise torrid evening for the Whites as he had 76 touches, the third-most of any Leeds player on the pitch.
But all things considered, he had some impressive defensive stats too.
According to WhoScored, he won four tackles, made two interceptions and was victorious in two aerial duels.
That, of course, was the last time he featured in that role and as a result, they should be confident he can deliver, especially going forward.