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 United face Luton Town this weekend, and the Whites are once again looking at a rather lengthy injury list.
The likes of Liam Cooper, Ezgjan Alioski and Adam Forshaw are all expected to be unavailable against the Hatters, and that means that Bielsa’s choices will be limited in one position.
With Luton more often than not opting to use a two-striker formation, it’s likely that Bielsa will opt to use a three-at-the-back tactic.
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With Liam Cooper out injured, the most likely scenario would see Luke Ayling step in as the third centre-back alongside Gaetano Berardi and Ben White, something that’s already occurred this season.
That move would probably mean that Stuart Dallas will play right wing-back on Saturday, which leaves Bielsa with a big call to make on the left side.
We spoke last week on FFC about how Marcelo Bielsa has a tough task on his hand juggling his left-backs, and this weekend will give us a good indication of what the pecking order is in that position.
With Dallas looking likely to play on the other side, the only candidates to play at left wing-back are Barry Douglas and Leif Davis.
Davis hasn’t started a game for Leeds yet this season, but he’s been given chances off the bench in recent weeks, while Douglas is seemingly out of favour at Elland Road at the moment.
If Bielsa chooses Davis over Douglas it will say a lot about the £3m signing’s current position in the Argentine’s plans as well as potentially being damning for his future at the club.
After all, the fact that the Scottish defender has been neglected in recent weeks already says a lot. Opting for this formation and ignoring Douglas would be a big statement.