Leeds United have effectively been cruising for a few weeks now following their outstanding start to the Championship season, and they were soundly beaten 4-1 by promotion rivals West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on Saturday.
The large scoreline was of course a surprise given their respective league positions, and having largely stuck with the same XI throughout the campaign so far – notwithstanding injury issues – it is time for manager Marcelo Bielsa to make some bold changes when they host Bristol City at Elland Road after the international break.
With the injuries mounting up for Bielsa in recent weeks, the 27-year-old has gone from being in and out of the team to starting their previous five Championship fixtures – at left-back, right midfield and then right-back against the Baggies in place of the injured Luke Ayling – but he came under fire from his own fans on Twitter for his display in the west Midlands where he failed to deal with the lethal West Brom attack.
The Argentine boss can’t afford to start Dallas again in that position again against the Robins, and he should take a punt on Kalvin Phillips there instead.
The 22-year-old perhaps hasn’t been at his best in recent weeks but he has all of the attributes to make a difference at full-back, and he has proven that he can be trusted in defence having dropped back to central defence on one occasion already this term.
Well, Adam Forshaw and Mateusz Klich have made a big impact in front of Phillips in a 4-1-4-1 formation in recent weeks, and while the latter has played a major part for them in the final third, the former would do an excellent protecting job in front of the backline and is good in possession.
That would then allow Samu Saiz – who has started the Yorkshire outfit’s previous three matches on the substitutes’ bench – or even Lewis Baker to come into the starting XI in a more advanced role, as Leeds look to get back on the goal trail.