A back-up keeper is rarely called upon, but for Marcelo Bielsa, his could be a secret weapon.
Kiko Casilla is the solid first choice at Elland Road, but Bailey Peacock-Farrell’s spot on the bench should be given to someone else.
Playoffs are often won and lost based off of the slightest of advantages gained by either manager.
Changing your back-up goalkeeper may seem like a trivial adjustment to make in the playoffs, but for Leeds United it could prove to be the difference between playing in the Premier League or the Championship next season.
Bielsa should call upon 22-year-old Polish stopper Kamil Miazek to replace Peacock-Farrell on the bench, in case of emergency if the game goes to penalties.
Following Leeds’ 1-0 win at Pride Park, spot-kicks are a possibility heading into their second leg tie against Derby County, and the Whites must prepare for this eventuality.
Louis van Gaal utilised the tactic of swapping goalkeepers before a shootout at the 2014 World Cup, and it worked to great effect.
Tim Krul replaced Jasper Cillessen in the last minutes of extra time before saving two penalties against Costa Rica to book the Netherlands a place in the quarter-finals.
Van Gaal then didn’t put Krul in as the same scenario unfolded in the semi-finals, as the Dutch fell to Argentina
Bielsa must learn from one of the only managers in history more experienced than himself and emulate this secret to find success if a shootout looms.
Casilla has stopped just three penalties in his career while Peacock-Farrell has kept out only one of the spot-kicks he has faced.
Miazek was between the sticks when Leeds’ U23 outfit won the PDL National Cup on pens, and the Pole saved two strikes from 12 yards to seal the title.
The 6 ft 4 goalie is a much more imposing figure in net, and if the game is level heading into the final minutes of extra time, then Bielsa should bring on Miazek as his secret weapon.