The Chalkboard: Bielsa must axe out-of-form stars for Rotherham clash

Leeds have lost three out of their last four Championship matches, but a trip to struggling Rotherham this Saturday presents the perfect chance to get back to winning ways.

On the chalkboard

Despite their recent poor form, the Whites still sit atop the Championship after 28 games, though last weekend’s fixtures leave them just one point clear of Norwich.

A win at the New York Stadium this Saturday could reignite Marcelo Bielsa’s side after some worryingly stagnant performances, but the boss has to make some changes if that is to happen.

Bielsa’s side have conceded at least two goals in all but one of their last seven games in all competitions, so what changes should be made from the defeat to Stoke City?

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Safe pair of hands

Bailey Peacock-Farrell’s emergence was one of the few bright spots in a miserable 2017-18 campaign.

The Leeds youngster was practically unheard of when Paul Heckingbottom threw him in at the deep end for a 3-0 defeat to Wolves, and while he has impressed mightily since breaking into the side, the 22 year-old is simply not Premier League quality.

That is why Bielsa must unleash Kiko Casilla for his full debut on Saturday, as the 32 year-old’s experience will mean he has no problems dealing with what will likely be a barrage of long balls and high crosses from the home side, something Peacock-Farrell has struggled with in the past.

Extra man in the middle

Bielsa opted for a fairly attacking approach against Stoke City, allowing Jack Harrison, Pablo Hernandez and Jack Clarke to buzz around the spaces off Kemar Roofe while Adam Forshaw and Matuesz Klich were left with the bulk of the defensive responsibilities.

Stoke played their counter-attacking opportunities perfectly however, and Rotherham will look to do the same, so the boss should bring Phillips back into the midfield in place of Harrison.

This would mean a switch to a traditional 4-3-3, with Hernandez and Clarke flanking Roofe while the tireless work rate and tough tackling of Phillips affords more freedom to Klich and Forshaw, both of whom are more than capable of creating and scoring goals from midfield.

So, Leeds fans, what changes would you make to the side that lost to Stoke? Should Casilla start? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…

Article title: The Chalkboard: Bielsa must axe out-of-form stars for Rotherham clash

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