The Chalkboard: Jansson return could tempt Bielsa into formation change

Leeds are expected to have Pontus Jansson fit and available to play Sheffield United on Saturday, so what could that mean for Marcelo Bielsa’s side?

The Chalkboard

Bielsa has felt the full impact of the Championship in his first season in English football, as the Whites’ squad has been devastated by injuries.

Those injuries have hit hardest in the defence, but Phil Hay of the Yorkshire Evening Post reports Jansson is expected to be ready on Saturday.

Leeds welcome Sheffield United to Elland Road seeking a third consecutive win, a win that would send them top of the league, but how will Jansson’s return impact Bielsa’s team selection?

The return of three at the back?

Kalvin Phillips was sensational at centre back on Tuesday, so good that Bielsa might just want to keep him there. The versatile youngster sprays the ball about fantastically from deep, and the boss has experimented with three at the back already this season.

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A combination of Jansson, Phillips and captain Liam Cooper would bring a good mixture of pace, power and technical quality, and it would also take pressure off the wing-backs, another position that has been decimated by injuries.

Good news for Alioski?

Aforementioned, a switch to three at the back makes life easier for the wing-backs, a position that Gjanni Alioski excelled in earlier this season.

The Macedonian international has taken loads of stick for his recent performances, but this would allow him to utilise his two greatest strengths – his work rate and his crossing.

It would also keep him further away from the last line of defence so he might not stray offside 30 times.

So, Leeds fans, would you like to see a formation change on Saturday? Does Jansson go straight back into the XI? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…